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Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Local 287

Firefighters question Anthony Eramo, invite him to "stand shoulder to shoulder"

Members of the Long Beach Local 287 have been under attack,including attacks by their City Councilman Anthony Eramo.
We are questioning if he truly supports unions and labor, or does he manipulate their strength for his personal gain.
We have invited him tojoin us at a rally. We look forward to him standing alongside hundreds of fellow union members.

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Firefighters invite Eramo to Rally in Port Chester

Members of the Long Beach Local 287 have been under attack,including attacks by their City Councilman Anthony Eramo.
We are questioning if he truly supports unions and labor, or does he manipulate their strength for his personal gain.
We have invited him to a Rally. We look forward to him standing alongside Hundreds of fellow union members.

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Anthony Eramo- Union Leader or Union Buster?

Anthony Eramo- Union Buster or Union Leader?

Long Beach City Council Vice President Anthony Eramo prides himself on being "Mr Union", meanwhile he is allowing union busting in his own city. He loves the spotlight as the CWA is on strike, fighting for fair labor while being treated unfairly by Verizon. Meanwhile, he hides when a Local Union is under the same attacks.

The Long Beach Professional Fire fighters are fighting for fair work conditions and proper public safety.
As a councilperson Anthony Eramo has done nothing to help, and is allowing these actions to continue.

IAFF Local 287
PO BOX 11 Long Beach, NY 1156
(516) 431-1000 Ext. 7811

“The Real Anthony Eramo” - Could this really be the same individual?

If so, Communication Workers of America union members and the residents of the City of Long Beach better take caution.

The despicable actions by Verizon have led 40,000 CWA union workers to go on strike are the same ones that Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo is using against the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association. (International Association of Fire Fighters Local 287)

As a so called union leader, he claims he is fighting for the worker. Anthony Eramo is doing the exact same thing to the members of the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association as Verizon is doing to the workers of the CWA.

While one Anthony Eramo posts pictures and statements regarding his Union being on strike, the other sits on the City Council and refuses to acknowledge or support the fire department union’s concerns and citizens requests for public safety.

At the May 3, 2016 Long Beach City Council Meeting, a PowerPoint slide was shown to the public announcing the contemplation of eliminating the paid fire department in the City of Long Beach.

Who is the real Anthony Eramo? The similarities of the following anti-union activities are staggering.

Anthony Eramo - Union Leader or Union Buster?

CWA union members on strike from Verizon due to the following…
1. Outsourcing union jobs
2. Verizon is using non-union workers
3. Less experienced and less skilled workers are being used by Verizon
4. Less job security
5. Verizon is reducing benefits to workers that are hurt on the job.

Anthony Eramo Long Beach City Councilman - Actions taken against the LBPFFA Local 287 include the following
1. Outsourced union jobs. Not once-but twice.
2. Contracted a non-union non-emergency transport company to respond to 911 emergencies in Long Beach
3. Allows workers, less familiar with Long Beach that rarely respond to 911 emergencies- to respond to emergencies.
4. Eliminated job security
5. Wants to reduce / eliminate benefits to workers who get hurt on the job
Anthony Eramo doesn’t really support labor; instead he manipulates labor for his personal gain

Let Politician Anthony Eramo know that his hypocritical actions towards the local labor union are wrong.

Call him at 431-1000 x 7200 | | Email -

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LB Fire Fighters Suport their Brothers in Garden City

2 more Layoffs are Budgeted in Garden city. Both Brothers are over 10 year veterans as career firefighters.
These cuts are unsafe and dangerous- Meanwhile there is money being spent on unless important things in budget.
Dont Allow Politicians to Jeopardize Public Safety

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FireFighters Support Kaminsky For Senate

The Membership and Families of The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters will be supporting Todd Kaminsky at the April 19th Special Election. We ask that you do the same.
Todd has proven to be a fighter on many important issues. He is an advocate for the residents, public safety, Education and Anti-Corruption.

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Hostile Work Environment Forces Another Fire Fighter To Resign

Sadly, the residents of Long Beach are losing another dedicated and trained first responder. Today, Crossed-Trained Fire Fighter / Advanced-EMT Steve Echeverri submitted his letter of resignation to City Manager Jack Schnirman.
The 6 year veteran signed the letter "regrettably" because he truly loved serving the residents and wished he didn't have to leave a job he found so rewarding.
The former college athlete and combat army veteran has had his share of chaotic and stressful environments.
Yet he said this was the worst and most mismanaged environment he has ever participated.

Nationally, The "fire fighter" has been titled the most stressful career, and adding the uncertainty of hostile work conditions and being under the constant threat of attrition made it unbearable.

Four crossed trained firefighter/ medics were laid off in February 2015 Additionally, Steve is now the 4th Cross-Trained Fire Fighter-Medic to have resigned in the last year.
With none of the layoffs to be rehired, He questions why none were hired back?

Please see his letter below.

"Mr Schnirman

I will be resigning from my position as a Long Beach Professional Fire Fighter effective November 6, 2016 at 0800. I want to begin by thanking the people of Long Beach for allowing me to serve them honorably for the last six years. This decision was not easy to make. I have loved being a fire fighter and Advanced EMS provider since my first day on the job. Unfortunately, this administration has seemingly begun the process to eliminate the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters. Over the past several years this administration has disseminated misleading or even untrue information in order to disparage and discredit the work that the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters provided this city for over 80 years. You have created a hostile work environment for us as firefighters. You have also forced us to work under unsafe work conditions with the reduction of our staffing levels as defined by all major Fire Safety organizations. It will only take one incident for the mismanagement of this Fire Department to be exposed. When this happens I would hope none of my fellow firefighters or citizens are injured or even killed. We ask plenty from our families with respect to the job as firefighters and the hazards we encounter each day. This administration, though, has added the stress that we could lose our careers at any given time. As fire fighters we are trained to handle stress but it is not fair for our families to be burdened in this manner. I refuse to continue to put my family and myself through this roller coaster of emotions. Thank you again to the residents of Long Beach and I hope that they continue to be served and protected by cross trained Professional Firefighters for years to come.


Firefighter Steve Echeverri"

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Fire Fighters Endorse Anissa Moore For Long Beach City Council

The officers and members of Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association have chosen to endorse Anissa Moore in her candidacy for Long Beach City Council.
She has expressed her interests in improving the health and safety of the community. Her experience as a college professor, specifically with the fire science program and FEMAs SAFER grant process will greatly assist in keeping Long Beach safe.

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Fire Fighters Endorse Legislator Denise Ford For Re-Election

The officers and members of IAFF Local 287 proudly endorse Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford for Re-Election on November 3rd.

She has been a tremendous advocate and resource to the entire community, especially public safety.

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New York’s Professional Firefighters Denounce Political Hit Piece.

New York’s Professional Firefighters Denounce Political Hit Piece in Long Beach
Libelous flyer mailed to city residents insults every career firefighter.

The New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association (NYSPFFA) is vehemently condemning a political flyer critical of a former city firefighter who is contesting fellow Democratic candidates in an upcoming primary.

The former firefighter and paramedic, and vice-president of Local 287, David Yolinsky, is the subject of the flyer, which inaccurately portrays him abusing city tax dollars while he served the city.

Yolinsky’s was one of five positions cut in February, despite the Local’s insistence that public safety would be jeopardized.

“While David Yolinsky is unfortunately no longer on the job, this disgusting cartoon-style mailer is an insult and an attack on every man and woman who ever answered the public’s call for help wearing a firefighters’ uniform,” said NYSPFFA President Michael McManus. “It is an affront to anyone who has ever been injured or lost in the line of duty, as well as their families. This is a new and shameful low in politics, and one that should disgust the taxpayers of Long Beach and any other right-minded person in this state.”

Yolinsky, a decorated professional and five-year department veteran, is one of five democrats vying for three council seats. His vocal opponents within the party are candidates Len Torres, Anthony Eramo and Karen Adamo.

“Torres, Eramo and Adamo should be asked directly if they had any prior knowledge about the production and distribution of these flyers,” McManus said. “They should take ownership of this deplorable act if they are behind it, or call out those responsible.”

The flyer:

Depicts Yolinsky shooting pool in the firehouse; there hasn’t been a pool table there in eight years, three years before he was hired;
Suggests he worked an average seven days per month; firefighters work 24 hour shifts – or at least 168 hours per month;
Accuses Yolinsky of running a full-time business from the firehouse; he and partners started a charitable T-shirt business after Hurricane Sandy. The business was NOT operated from the firehouse.
Declares he fought only two fires in 2014. This is deliberately misleading; Long Beach firefighters responded to nearly 4,800 calls in 2014 – 75 percent of which were medical in nature. This is standard among fire departments nationwide.
Alleges Yolinsky cooked dinner and did his personal laundry at the firehouse; yes, firefighters cook for themselves while on duty. He did NOT launder clothes from home, only uniforms and firehouse linen, which is acceptable and commonplace among fire departments.

Local 287 President Bill Piazza joined McManus in his harsh criticism of the flyer.

“It is hard to fathom that adults would come together and think something like this was even remotely appropriate,” Piazza said. “Once the public learns who is responsible we hope they ask themselves, ‘Are these the types of people who deserve the public’s trust’”

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this summer has treated you well.

On Thursday September 10, 2015 the Long Beach City Council Democratic primary election will be held. I would like to inform you that this election carries immense weight on the issue of public safety, in particular, the services that you and our community will receive.

The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association is in full support of Fire Fighter Dave Yolinsky and Anissa Moore in their bid for City Council. Please support brother Dave and Anissa on Thursday, September 10th at the democratic primary.

With an average turnout of less than 2,000 votes, every vote has a tremendous impact.

Vote: Thursday, September 10th, 6am-9pm

For information on voting locations or to assist Brother Yolinsky please contact:

Jessica Mitchell

Stay Safe, Fraternally,

William Piazza, President, IAFF 287
(516) 242-8811

For more information on Dave Yolinsky please read the included Letter to the Editor published in the Long Beach Herald written by Long Beach resident Joe Miccio. (Miccio is a retired FDNY Firefighter and held the office of Recording Secretary for UFA Local 94.)

Yolinsky Endorsements:

International Fire Fighters Association
International Association of Fire Fighters, 5th District
New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association
Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF 287
Buffalo Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF 282
Syracuse Fire Fighters, IAFF 280
Rochester Fire Fighters, IAFF 1071

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Letter to the Editor

Long Beach Resident Joe Miccio writes a Letter to the Editor about City Council candiate Dave Yolinsky. 

(Miccio is a retired FDNY Firefighter and held the office of Recording Secretary for UFA Local 94.)

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Firefighters Condemn Excessive Overtime and Decreased Services created by City's Mismanagement

On February 15, 2015, the administration of the City of Long Beach laid off four (4) cross trained nationally certified firefighters / New York State Advanced Life Support providers. According to the administration, this reduction in public and firefighter safety was a cost savings measure.

Prior to the implementation of the City’s plan to restructure the Fire Department, the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association made the City aware that this would result in no financial savings but would reduce public safety and services. Since the lay-offs, no savings has been realized.

In actuality, this administration’s decision to reduce fire fighter personnel has resulted in an increase in costs to the residents. To currently staff the engine company, which is still less than the staffing prior to the restructuring, the City has had to replace the laid off firefighters with personnel on overtime.

Since the restructuring of the Long Beach Fire Department in February of 2015, overtime costs have exceeded $250,000. Prior to the restructuring, the Union presented to the City a package that would have more efficiently controlled costs while maintaining previous levels of public safety. This proposal was rejected by the City. The Union warned that the layoffs and restructuring would result in this unnecessary expenditure.

As per the City’s own $55,000 ICMA report, any restructuring to the department will fail if recommended changes to the department management were not first implemented. To date, none of the recommended changes have been made. This administration's mismanagement has continued with apparent disregard to public safety and tax payer funds.

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Long Beach, New York, ICMA Joe Miccio Speech Highlights

Highlights from Long Beach's ICMA Review

At the announcement of the Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition, retired FDNY Firefighter and Long Beach Resident Joseph Miccio presented his findings of a comprehensive review of Long Beach's ICMA Report.

Miccio uncovered critical flaws, errors and omissions throughout the report, as well as in response times and economic data.

While serving as the Secretary for FDNY's Uniformed Firefighters Association, Miccio was responsible for research and supervising the legal team for nearly 9,000 FDNY firefighters in staffing and response time cases against the City of New York

Here are some excerpts from Miccio's 18 minute presentation.

For Miccio's full presentation click here.

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Joe Miccio, Long Beach, New York ICMA Review Full Video

At the announcement of the Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition, retired FDNY Firefighter and Long Beach Resident Joseph Miccio presented his findings of a comprehensive review of Long Beach's ICMA Report.

Miccio uncovered critical flaws, errors and omissions throughout the report, as well as in response times and economic data.

While serving as the Secretary for FDNY's Uniformed Firefighters Association, Miccio was responsible for research and supervising the legal team for nearly 9,000 FDNY firefighters in staffing and response time cases against the City of New York



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Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced

Published on Apr 23, 2015
Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced

The Long Beach Professional Firefighters are proud to announce the unified coalition:

Professional First Responders of Long Beach

The Professional First Responders of LB unites over 300 Long Beach residents who are professional fire and emergency medical first responders, along with their families, for the purpose of keeping all residents of Long Beach informed of important public safety policy changes and conditions that may affect the safety of their families and security of their homes.

Coalition Members:

FDNY Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 94

FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854

Uniformed EMT Paramedics and Fire Inspectors of the FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 2507

Uniformed EMS Officers Union FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 3621

Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 287


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Published on Apr 23, 2015
Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced

The Long Beach Professional Firefighters are proud to announce the unified coalition:

Professional First Responders of Long Beach

The Professional First Responders of LB unites over 300 Long Beach residents who are professional fire and emergency medical first responders, along with their families, for the purpose of keeping all residents of Long Beach informed of important public safety policy changes and conditions that may affect the safety of their families and security of their homes.

Coalition Members:

FDNY Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 94

FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854

Uniformed EMT Paramedics and Fire Inspectors of the FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 2507

Uniformed EMS Officers Union FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 3621

Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 287


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Published on Apr 23, 2015
Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced

The Long Beach Professional Firefighters are proud to announce the unified coalition:

Professional First Responders of Long Beach

The Professional First Responders of LB unites over 300 Long Beach residents who are professional fire and emergency medical first responders, along with their families, for the purpose of keeping all residents of Long Beach informed of important public safety policy changes and conditions that may affect the safety of their families and security of their homes.

Coalition Members:

FDNY Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 94

FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854

Uniformed EMT Paramedics and Fire Inspectors of the FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 2507

Uniformed EMS Officers Union FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 3621

Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 287


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Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced


Professional First Responders of Long Beach Coalition Announced

The Long Beach Professional Firefighters are proud to announce the unified coalition:


Professional First Responders of Long Beach

The Professional First Responders of LB unites over 300 Long Beach residents who are professional fire and emergency medical first responders, along with their families, for the purpose of keeping all residents of Long Beach informed of important public safety policy changes and conditions that may affect the safety of their families and security of their homes.


Coalition Members: 

FDNY Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 94

?        FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854

Uniformed EMT Paramedics and Fire Inspectors of the FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 2507

Uniformed EMS Officers Union FDNY, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 3621 ?

Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 287

Watch Announcement Here



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Open Letter to City Council

April 18, 2015

Open letter to Long Beach City Council re: 4/20/15 Media Event

This is a reply to the April 17th letter from the Long Beach City Manager addressed to the President of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters, and posted on the “” independent Long Beach website.

In January, the City of Long Beach announced at its City Council meeting and published on its website its ICMA study plans to reduce on-duty fire crew sizes down to 3 firefighters, from the current 5, 6 or 7 firefighters. According to U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration rules, these first 3 arriving firefighters would not be allowed to enter your smoke filled home until the volunteers arrive, under most circumstances. These rules are in place to ensure firefighter safety (see March 26th Letter to the Herald re ICMA Plan for further explanation).

At that meeting, firefighters and Long Beach residents were informed that the City would make its ICMA study presentation, the public could comment, the City would not be answering questions, and the police were standing by inside and ready to take enforcement action if the comments exceeded City Council determined allotments.

The City laid off four firefighters after that and a fifth firefighter resigned (to take firefighter job elsewhere) after the staffing cuts announced in the ICMA study indicated that another dozen firefighters would need to be let go—in order to realize savings stated in the report—when the City implements its planned fire staffing reductions this spring.

On April 17th, the Long Beach City Manager sent a letter to the president of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters, which was quickly posted on the website. The letter is heavily weighted in content known in the media business as “spin.” Its wording leaves the public with the impression that Long Beach firefighters maintain lower emergency medical capabilities than their actual EMT-CC qualifications certify them to perform.

Another spun paragraph is worded so that the public would believe that only 3 on-duty firefighters currently show up at your house if it is on fire, and not the 5, 6 or 7 who have been showing up for many years. The letter omits an important fact: the ambulance (staffed by 2 FFs) and fire engine (3 FFs) respond together from the same firehouse at the same time 24/7 unless separated by a medical call. Then the letter spins along stating, OK, so now we’re going to give you 4 firefighters—claiming this is an increase—and then saying that “you” should be happy.

In the past two years, there has been 1 structure fire where the number of paid firefighters responding was fewer than 5, due to a medical call. And the chances of this occurring again will be diminished when the Long Beach Emergency Room reopens. Why? Because ambulance time to/at/from the off-island ER is 38 minutes (according to the City’s ICMA study), and a new Long Beach ER has been announced to open July 1st. The ICMA plan’s alternate recommendations are based on a situation that will no longer exist and data that is no longer valid, according to the City’s own experts: “The driving force behind these (alternate staffing) recommendations is the impact that the closing of the local hospital (and ER) has had on operations,” according to the ICMA summary presented at the January City Council meeting and posted on the City website.

Lastly, the Long Beach Professional Firefighters have offered the City in our recent negotiations—in exchange for an agreement that will better protect its firefighters and the public at fires—a significant number of economic givebacks that would shock most Long Beach residents. The City declined these cuts. The spinning continued when the City crafted its closing salvo to lead the public to believe that the negotiations were nearly opposite of what actually occurred.

And back to the OSHA rule mentioned above, which mandates certain safety compliance be taken at fires. The City has offered no plan to our firefighters that indicates it has undergone any preparations whatsoever to ensure our firefighters’ safety in this matter, which underscores the City’s own ICMA study observations (on Page 6): “There is a void of direction, standard operating guidelines, and many of the managerial functions…” and, “The instability in the organizational structure and leadership may detract from the success of the change management process.” And the City wonders why our firefighters are concerned for their own safety, and the safety of the public they serve?

On Monday, April 20, at 2pm, on the steps of the resurrected Knights Pub in the West End of Long Beach, the Long Beach Professional Firefighters, along with the leadership of our nearly 300 brother and sister FDNY members who reside in Long Beach, will be presenting a press conference to address these critical issues, and also the serious flaws in the ICMA study data that the City is using as a basis for implementing its sweeping Fire/EMS structural changes.

Unlike what occurred at the City Council meeting in January, the Long Beach Professional Firefighters will answer questions at the press conference on Monday, or during follow-up interviews, and will provide supporting documentation.

It is our sincere hope that the information presented at this press conference will lead to more productive public safety developments for the City of Long Beach as it continues its long recovery from the widespread devastation caused in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The City has gotten its residents closely involved with its planning and decision making for its new boardwalk, new bathrooms, and boardwalk concessions (and skateboard park). It is our intention that the public and the hundreds of Professional First Responders who live in Long Beach are involved in the development process for strategic changes that impact public safety in the community that they live in.

In this regard, the City claims it has offered interested parties an “active role” in the development for strategic change that impacts public safety, while at the same time telling us that the department is moving in this direction—you can be on board or not, but this is the direction we are going. The ICMA study recommended 8 times on 6 separate pages that joint committees be formed quickly to address these public safety issues, and yet, not one committee formation has been announced to date.

When you add the ICMA study’s response time inaccuracies, which we have consistently maintained, to its omissions of important facts regarding hazards of fighting fires with smaller crew sizes, this calls for an independent investigation.

For the City Council to do anything otherwise is dangerous to the public and our firefighters, and will potentially expose the City (at a cost to taxpayers) and its administrators to civil liability if it knowingly implements broad public safety policy changes based on flawed data.


William Piazza
President, Long Beach Professional Firefighters
LBPFA, IAFF Local 287

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Long Beach Press Conference

Monday April 20, 2015 2:00 PM

Knights Pub
West Beech St. & Minnesota Ave.
(a reception will follow inside)

“Stop proposed plans to prevent first arriving Long Beach Firefighters from immediately entering burning homes!”

Join elected officials, media, and the leadership representing more than 300 resident members of the

Professional First Responders of Long Beach:

FDNY Uniformed Fire Fighters Association Local 94
FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854
Uniformed EMT Paramedics and Fire Inspectors of the FDNY Local 2507
Uniformed EMS Officers Union FDNY Local 3621
Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 287

For more information watch here:

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Firefighters Make Quick Work of Crawl Space Fire

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at about 12:30pm the LBFD was dispatch to "Smoke in a Structure" on the 500 block of E. Penn St. Units arrived to find black smoke throughout the private home. Firefighters deployed two fire hoses and searched for the origin of the smoke. Firefighters encountered a small amount of fire originating from wires entering an air handler unit located in a tight crawlspace under the home. The fire was extinguished and the home as ventilated of all smoke. The residence sustained minimal damage.

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Man Shot Between Fire Engines, Receives Immediate Medical Care

On, Friday April 10th Engine 43 and Engine 44 were returning to quarters after freeing up from a reported house fire. Engine 43 was headed southbound on Long Beach Blvd followed by Engine 44. While E43 crossed E. Chester St a loud gunshot rang out. A moment later a man was lying in the street between the two fire apparatus.

The Engine 44 crew immediately radioed a person had been shot and E43 pulled into the northbound lanes of Long Beach Blvd. Both crews hastefully exited their rigs and began immediate patient care. Engine 43 staffed with three career Advanced Life Support Firefighters quickly assessed the patient’s wounds. The patient was bleeding and sustained heavy damage to the left side from a possible shotgun wound.

ALS ambulance 2319 responded along with other FD units and Long Beach Police Department. Police Officers secured the scene as patient care continued.

Two IV lines were secured, in addition to many other patient care interventions. One Advanced Life Support Firefighter was removed from Engine 43 to provide an additional patient-care provider en route to the hospital. While en route, the hospital was contacted and given the patient’s disposition and updated vital signs. During ongoing assessment ALS Firefighters found no lung sounds on one side of the chest and tracheal deviation. Firefighters preformed a Needle Decompression a highly invasive and life saving maneuver, which provided positive effect. Transport contained and the patient was delivered to South Nassau Communities hospital.

Members of the LBFD wish all our patients a speedy recovery.

If you know any information that may be useful please contact the LBPD.

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Letter to the Editor: By Long Beach Resident and Retired FDNY Firefighter Joseph Miccio

ICMA plan a ‘deep cause for concern’

To the Editor:

A recent study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that “firefighter crews of five or six — instead of three or four — are significantly faster in putting out fires and completing search and rescue operations when responding to fires in high-rise buildings,” and that “three-member crews took almost 12 minutes longer than crews of four … to complete all tasks.”

This summary was posted on an April 2013 blog by Thomas Wieczorek, the director in charge of a study by the International City/County Management Association’s Center for Public Safety Management that our City Council is using as the basis for its plan to reduce on-duty career firefighter crews from a minimum of five to three.

Interestingly, Wieczorek also noted that the NIST study concluded that smaller crews end up facing larger fires. I wonder if he factored into the ICMA report a recently approved plan to build two 15-story buildings on the Superblock.

Long Beach career firefighters now practice a form of firefighting that is modeled after the New York City Fire Department, called “aggressive interior attack.” That means the first arriving crew enters a burning, smoke-filled home without water, before any other crew arrives.

So, if you’re lying unconscious, firefighters will rush inside before the cavalry comes. However, if ICMA’s proposed cuts are implemented, the first-arriving crew, under most circumstances, will no longer be permitted inside a smoke-filled home until volunteers arrive. Why? Because U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules mandate a minimum of four firefighters at the scene: two by the door or window — ready to rescue the first responders if something goes wrong — before the other two can enter.

In practical terms, these rules necessitate having five firefighters on the scene before anyone can rush in, because someone — the chauffeur — has to pump the water. For a three-firefighter crew, the only exception is when there is a “known life hazard.” Under OSHA rules, these firefighters can no longer go inside a home or building based on the assumption that there are people inside. They must see someone at a window, or a neighbor needs to tell them that someone is inside.

Long Beach is more densely populated than the neighboring Rockaway peninsula, which is protected 24/7 by the FDNY’s five-firefighter crews, plus volunteer companies. We too have numerous high-rise dwellings, and entire neighborhoods made up of old wooden bungalows packed tightly together.

And, like Rockaway, Long Beach is extremely vulnerable to high-wind-driven fires that often spread to adjacent buildings, especially those with vinyl siding. This mixture of risky conditions is further compounded when our population increases by 50 percent during the summer.

Long Beach’s career unit operates 24/7, with a minimum crew of five firefighters who stretch the first hose line when a house is on fire. Timed hose-stretch studies conducted by the FDNY confirm that smaller crews take significantly longer to stretch a hose.

To see how critical it is to get that first line in place, check out this video
( ) by the NIST.

According to the FDNY, “More lives are saved at fire operations by the proper positioning … of hose lines than … all other life saving techniques … The majority of structural fires are … extinguished by this initial line.”

Our City Council is on the verge of giving up its most important lifesaving resource, the ability to quickly stretch a hose or immediately search a home. For every family living in our city, this should be cause for deep concern. Just ask any of the nearly 300 FDNY members who live in Long Beach.

Joseph Miccio
Long Beach

Letter published in Long Beach Herald,65912?page=1&content_source=

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March 3, 2015 - City of Long Beach City Council Meeting

To the individuals who spoke on our behalf including:

Long Beach Residents
Firefighter supporters
Legislator Denise Ford
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg Ret.

The Officers and members of the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association offer a tremendous thank you for your support for the services that we provide to the residents and visitors of the City of Long Beach.
We understand that sharing your personal experience in a public venue is very difficult which is why our appreciation is immeasurable.
Our firefighters assure you that it is our goal to continue to provide quality fire and emergency services and protect the residents and guests of our beautiful City.
Again, thank you for your support.

Officers and Members
Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association
IAFF Local 287


Any questions or comments may be made to the following
Bill Piazza
(516) 431-1000 ext 7811
(516) 242-8811

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I want to provide clarification for many of the statements in your article, “Delivering EMS care without risking safety”, dated March 19, 2015.

The recent comments stating that emergency services can be provided in a less costly manner is due to the fact that the ICMA report is comparing a new employee’s starting salary with an experienced employee at top pay.

There are many ways an organization can lower the cost of service, but in this case, cuts will also be in the experience of the providers, familiarity of the local landscape and intricacies of the neighborhoods and buildings throughout Long Beach.

Do not confuse the difference between lower cost and better value. The salary of todays’ lower cost paramedics will increase, drastically reducing the projected savings.

Hiring an employee at a lower salary that can respond and be effective at 75% of emergency calls to replace the cross trained personnel that are 100% effective at 100% of the calls is not a good value.

Larger departments have the benefit of economies of scale and using two entities to provide separate Fare and EMS in a safe manner. This will result in more employees or increased overtime, drastically reducing the projected savings.

The title of the article, “…without risking safety”, is inaccurate. The existing workforce consists of a five-person engine company. The ICMA reported to reduce the cross trained firefighters to 12 members or a three- person engine company, which contradicts its own reports prepared for other municipalities. That is a 40% reduction in the number of firefighter personnel. The efficiency and effectiveness of completing tasks and getting water on the fire by a 3-man engine company compared to a 5-man engine is drastically reduced. This fact leads to a significant reduction in civilian and firefighter safety and increased risk to the citizens.

The residents of Long Beach deserve much better and to assert that they should settle for a reduction in services is a disgrace and disrespectful to the community.

The firefighters union has provided many ways to operate more efficiently and increase services in the future while maintaining safety for all involved.

William Piazza
Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association
IAFF Local 287

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

When the Irish and Scottish immigrated to this country following the great potato famine, they brought many of their traditions with them. Work for these immigrants was often very difficult to find. Factories and shops displayed signs reading "NINA" meaning No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the civil service jobs that were dirty, dangerous or both -- firefighters and police officers -- jobs that no one else wanted.

Irish-American firefighters began affixing images of the shamrock to their apparatus and their person not only as a display of Irish-American pride, but also as an inconspicuous message to their fellow Irishmen advertising that the fire service is a place that can't discriminate against them.

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Letter to EMS Providers

Brothers and Sisters:

We are writing to you to shed some light on our situation in Long Beach. A new position of Paramedic has been created by the City of Long Beach and is highly contested by our union, Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 287. As an act of union solidarity, we urge you to stay with your current career and not consider this position.

• The position is being used to replace laid off ALS/Firefighters including Paramedics
• The current medic position has not been announced as a full or part time
• No medical or retirement benefits have been announced
• There is no job security or long-term plan for employment.
• The schedule is in conflict with current practice
• There is no salary structure for future raises or advances
• There are no upward steps for promotion in rank or to firefighter
• There is no infrastructure set up to support the position

We do not want any of our EMS brothers or sisters to be adversely effected by leaving stable employment to work for this ambiguous position.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at email below with any questions or concerns regarding this matter.

Bill Piazza
Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association
IAFF Local 287

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City Officials Layoff Four Firefighters, Leaving The Long Beach Fire Department Understaffed

Friday evening the City moved forward with layoffs of firefighters originally slated for January 1st, the City delivered new layoff notices to 4 firefighters (down from 5 as one member resigned to take other employment). The loss of 5 firefighters brings the department down to 19 active firefighters and one Executive Officer. This leaves the department undersized to provide the daily 5 firefighter Engine/Ambulance company minimum.

In a December 10th 2014 article by the Long Beach Herald, Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins stated that the department historically is staffed with 25 members and affirmed the fire department would continue to staff 5 firefighters daily.

“Kemins added that the union’s previous contract with the city included a non-binding agreement for a minimum of five firefighters working each tour, as opposed to a minimum of four firefighters in the past. The current administration, Kemins said, has maintained that agreement and will continue to do so.”- Long Beach Herald

Since January 1st 2006 the Long Beach Fire Department has provided a minimum of 5 firefighters on duty per day (with a high of 8 FFs) to protect the citizens of Long Beach. Any reduction in the daily staffing level below 5 would cause a dramatic cut in emergency services to the public.

The four working tours of the Fire Department require 21 active members to maintain the current minimum daily staffing and an Executive Officer. At 21 members, the department would be short handed in the event of firefighters taking leave due to sick days or scheduled vacation. Now, at 19 active members the department is CRITICALLY understaffed.

The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters are outraged with the actions of the City. Laying- off 4 firefighters leaves us understaffed creating a unsafe work environment for the firefighters on duty and a hazard to public safety.

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City of Long Beach Union Busting












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The Cost of Fire/ EMS Protection in Long Beach

The City of Long Beach is unique among New York communities. For nowhere else on Long Island is there a place that truly has something for everyone. Residents and visitors to our City enjoy our beach, boardwalk, recreation facilities, restaurants, pubs, local shops and, of course, our people. That all of these attractive qualities can be found a short one hour train ride from Manhattan only adds to our allure as both a place to live and a place to visit.

A big part of what makes Long Beach different from other places is the diversity of both its inhabitants and its physical characteristics. We are an island separated from the mainland by three bridges. The little strip of sand that we call home has 33,5221 year round2 residents shoe-horned into 2.223 square miles of land, resulting in a population density of 15,237 people per square mile.

By comparison, Long Island as a whole has a mere 5,402 people per square mile.

As you can imagine, all of these people need a place to live. As a result, Long Beach has a housing density of 7,318 “homes” per square mile. This unrivaled density level is achieved by tightly packing the homes in the West and East Ends of Long Beach almost on top of each other and by lining most of our beachfront with high-rise buildings 3-stories or taller above a basement (we have over 75 such buildings). Indeed, many are 10 stories tall or more. In fact, we’re the 24th most housing dense community in the U.S.4. If you eliminate communities with a population under 10,000 people, our ranking jumps to the 14th most housing dense community in the U.S.5.

Nassau as a whole has a housing density of 1,645 homes per square mile. Suffolk has a minuscule 625 homes per square mile.

Some may see this data and lament that Long Beach is over-crowded and over developed. That is in the eye of the beholder. However one may feel about these statistics, it remains that all of those people and all of those structures need to be protected in the event of an emergency.

Our isolation from the mainland and the absence of a hospital on this side of the bridge only adds to the difficulty involved with keeping the residents of our City safe in the event of a fire, medical, or other emergency. All of these factors explain why Long Beach has had a paid professional component within the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) for more than 80 years now. The 5,6, or 7 professional firefighters (FF’s) on duty at any given time are hardly a luxury, it’s a necessity. House fires, strokes, heart attacks, and cardiac arrests are among the most time-sensitive emergencies we confront. Without the rapid, competent, highly-trained response of the professional members of the LBFD to all calls for help in Long Beach, the outcomes of these, and other incidents would be dramatically affected in a negative way.

Recently, the City has determined to lay off 5 of the professional FF’s. In addition to making no sense operationally, this move makes no sense economically.

A review of the current City budget reveals that the professional force within the LBFD is the greatest bargain of all City agencies. The current budget indicates total revenue/expenditures of $74,140,053. Of that, only $32,617,942 is money that is actually collected from the taxpayers of Long Beach. This $32,617,942 amounts to 43.99% (44%) of the revenue relied upon to meet the City’s expenses. The remaining 66% of revenue comes from a variety of different non-property tax sources, such as state-aid, sales taxes, fees for services, etc;.

The total cost for the professional component of the LBFD is $3,276,315 (salaries), $125,000 (overtime), $982,980 (pension contributions), $627,652 (health & dental insurance), and another $244,894 (misc. payroll related taxes). Thus the total cost for maintaining a 30 member paid professional force as contained within the current budget is $5,256,841.

This may seem a princely sum, but one must keep sight of the fact that only 44% of all City expenses are supported by local property taxes. It is thus reasonable to apply that same percentage to the expense side of the LBFD ledger. 44% of $5,256,841 is $2,313,010. This means that the proportionate taxpayer funded share of the cost of maintaining a professional firefighting force within the LBFD is $2,313,010.

$2,313,010 is still nothing to sneeze at. It’s a lot of money. Or is it?

The City’s tax roll is comprised of 9,439 taxpaying parcels. That 9,439 breaks down into 8,385 Homestead (residential) units and 1,054 Non-Homestead (commercial) units. Dividing $2,313,010 by 9,439 parcels reveals that the average taxpaying unit is paying $245 a year for paid professional fire and EMS protection.

Even at this rate, the professional force would already be a bargain, but when LBFD department generated revenues are taken into consideration, even this reasonable cost drops substantially.

The current budget shows that the LBFD will bring in $850,000 (ambulance charges), $67,500 (alarm fees), and $186,000 (contract fire protection) for a total of $1,103,500 in departmental INCOME. Professional staffing of a second ambulance would push the ambulance charges to well over $1M.

Dividing that $1,103,500 by the 9,439 parcels reveals a savings of $117 per taxpaying unit. Subtracting $117 from the $245 taxpayer share of the professional force’s cost brings that cost down to $128 a year to maintain 24/7/365 professional emergency responders. Viewed another way, the professional force costs the average Long Beach taxpayer $.36 cents a day.

Is there anyone that would be willing to sacrifice the peace of mind of 24/7/365 professional fire and EMS protection for such an inconsequential “savings”?

1) U.S. Census data
2) The population of Long Beach is estimated at upwards of 55,000 in the summer
3) U.S. Census data
4) U.S. Census data
5) U.S. Census data

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ICMA Suggests Cutting FD Services, Putting Citizens At Risk

On Tuesday January 13, 2015 the ICMA presented a report that was ordered by the City of Long Beach, recommending the restructuring of the Long Beach Fire Department. One of the recommendations was to reduce the number of members of the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association (LBPFFA) to (12) twelve and hire (12) twelve Paramedics. Currently there are 26 active (29 total) and 30 budgeted firefighters employed by the City of Long Beach.

As per the ICMA report, the Long Beach Fire Department is a capable organization that provides quality fire and Emergency Medical Services to the citizens and visitors of the City of Long Beach. A majority of the members of the LBPFFA are certified at the New York State and National level, Firefighter I and Firefighter II. All of the active members hold either an EMT -CC (Critical Care) or Paramedic Certification.

EMT-CC's are capable of initiating venous access, administering medications, performing endotracheal intubation, interpreting ECGs, performing electrical cardiac therapy, performing chest decompression and performing interosseous access.

As compared to a Paramedic, an EMT-CC can perform the same skills as a Paramedic but needs to contact Medical Control to administer some medications. Medical Control is immediately contacted via radio and puts the provider in touch with a physician who can authorize the administration of the required medication. Even Paramedics may need to contact medical control for the administration of some medications. A patient currently does not receive less access to quality care being treated by a cross-trained fire fighter EMT-CC than they would a paramedic.

This ICMA report, also contradicts their prior reports on the firematic front as well. In other ICMA reports, they have concluded that there must be enough personnel to put fire apparatus into effective use. It determined that a minimum of five personnel are required for engine (pumper) companies, three are needed to place a single line of 2 ½ inch hose in service and one additional person, plus a fore person is needed to operate the pump.

The City is planning on reducing the current Five Man Engine Company down to a Three Man engine, which is below national standard of a four-man engine. This action makes the above-mentioned evolution nearly impossible. This inadequate staffing places the public and firefighters at risk. That risk is being transferred to the citizen.

This decision is based is on risk analysis and the City’s willingness to accept more risk public safety risk. This risk is to the citizen, not the City. It is stated that the Long Beach Fire Department is ready to respond, has the ability to deploy cross-trained resources and are able to achieve the outcome by matching resources to the risk. Sending a single style resource to multi hazard situations is counter intuitive.

The report stated the potential savings of $1.75 to $2 million.
The undeniable reduction of the effectiveness of your fire department and the elimination of effective response of cross-trained firefighter/ EMT-CC personnel will have a negligible result on the taxpayer. That claim of saving $2 million dollars translates to the homeowner of a savings of less than $90 per year or 25 cents per day.

Support the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Long Beach Fire Department by attending the city council meeting on Tuesday, January 20, 2014 and online at

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City Fails to Come to Table

Long Beach City Officials have yet to come to the table with the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Union.

Since December 1st, Long Beach Firefighters have had layoffs looming over their heads like a hanging guillotine. Since that time, Union officials have been trying to work with the city to avoid the cuts to personnel and services.

Union officials were initially given an offer of a lag pay agreement proposed by the City, which would delay layoffs for six (6) weeks in trade for the twenty-nine (29) member union to take a one week lag pay. The Union countered with four (4) different proposed agreements, including a two (2) week lag pay, in order to maintain all members for twelve (12) weeks. This would allow time to reach a long-term agreement. The City disregarded those offers and would only discuss their offer. In the end, the Union members temporarily saved the jobs of their fellow firefighters by agreeing to the City’s proposal, under good faith verbal conditions the City would work with firefighters in the New Year. This pay lag extension was to provide both sides time to work out a long-term agreement.

Early into January of this year, President Bill Piazza contacted City Officials notifying them of the Long Beach Professional Firefighter’s intent to sit with the City to discuss contract talks. Piazza provided multiple dates and times of availability, as requested. The City replied with tentative dates for the week of the January 12th. Coincidentally, the dates were to follow release of the City’s ICMA report.

On Tuesday, January 13th, the City contacted Piazza to notify him that the two dates for meetings that week would not work for the City. Hours later, the City hosted the presentation of the ICMA report regarding the fire department.

Now, 2 weeks into the 6-week layoff extension, the City has yet to secure a date to discuss a contract and long-term solutions. The Union has been ready, eager, and available since day one. The clock is ticking and the City needs to address this matter.

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What to Expect From an ICMA Report


ICMA is the International City/County Management Association which is an association representing professionals in local government management. It is based in Washington, D.C., USA.

Founded in 1914 as the International City Managers Association, ICMA provides education and networking opportunities for its members, and offers the Credentialed Manager program to offer professional credentialing to city and county executive managers. It also conducts research, provides technical assistance and training, and promotes professional local government management. We assume that City Manager Jack Schnirman or the City is a member of this group.


The ICMA Report is study done by The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM). CPSM is a private consulting and training firm specializing in public safety. The organization is the exclusive provider of public safety technical assistance for ICMA. This means they only do work for City Officials and as such must promote the agenda of those officials if they want to continue to work. This means reports are greatly biased.

CPSM provides services to local governments in the critical areas of: Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Dispatch, Building Accreditation and Codes


Yes, Garden City received an ICMA Report 3 years ago.


ICMA reports are designed to correlate with the municipalities objectives. Around the country, many fire Departments have suffered adverse actions based on these reports. Many times it is a biased document illustrating the municipality’s objectives and using the report as a scapegoat. Past reports by the ICMA have been created from statistics that are unclear and incomplete. Don’t be surprised if the ICMA report recommends the layoff of five (5) firefighters. That was the same script that was used in the Garden City report.

Few recommendations are enacted by the municipalities with the exception of the ones in their original agenda. Of the fourteen (14) recommendations from the Garden City report, only two (2) remain in effect; the recommendations were to lay off five (5) firefighters and to transfer fire dispatching to Firecom which has increased response times, not decreased times as the ICMA said it would.

Deficiencies in management may also be addressed in this report. The hierarchy of the Long Beach Fire Department has historically consisted of a Commissioner and three Chiefs that have been filled with members of the volunteer division of the department.

On September 9, 2014, the Union was told by ICMA that the final report was sent to a City representative in August of that year. The Union has requested the report from the City, in order to address any glaring issues to enable the department to run more efficiently. The City has denied access to the report, and even continued to deny possession of the report at a council meeting on December 2nd 2014 just days after the announced layoffs of five (5) firefighter/ Advanced Life Support EMT’s.

Clearly, the December 1, 2014 notice of five potential layoffs is not an idea that the union or the public agree with, and in no way makes sense in trying to run a more efficient department.

At one council meeting the City identified the fire department had one-hundred fifty (150) volunteer members, shortly after at the next meeting the number quickly changed to (107). Meanwhile, the cities website declares there are one hundred sixty-five (165) volunteer firefighters. How is it possible that the City can make responsible decisions about public safety and layoffs without knowing the current levels of personnel within a department? Has the City even contacted the leadership of the volunteer division of the fire department to gain an accurate count of their membership? If the City cannot provide these basic statistics, how could the City provide quality information to create a fair and accurate depiction of the Long Beach Fire Department on which to create an ICMA report? The answer is simple, it can’t.

Is the city aware that the ICMA does not use National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) standards to make their determinations even though NFPA is the standard used across the country and is considered court proven in the State of New York? The job of ICMA is to draft ideas in which a municipality may save money by transferring the risk to the citizens of the same municipality.


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City Attacks Fire Department Staffing Again

State Assembly Member Harvey Weisenberg expressed concern in the past over lack of adequate Fire Department staffing and improper budgeting. City Manager Jack Schnirman touted and bragged to the public about the city's fiscal responsibility and balanced budget even giving residents a tax break this fiscal year. Remarkably, Jack is now laying off 5 Firefighters / Advanced Life Support EMTs claiming there is no money in the budget now halfway thought the fiscal year. Fire Department cuts will leave residents more vulnerable than ever with low staffing, high call volume, long transports to South Nassau Hospital and no sight of an Emergency Department opening in Long Beach in the foreseeable future.

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Budget Shortfall To Blame For Layoffs Of 5 Firefighters

Even though the City Manager touted a balanced budget, he is now telling firefighters a different story. At a city council meeting Schnirman stated, “For the third consecutive year, we see a structurally sound budget,” Now, not even half way through this fiscal year Jack Schnirman now sings a different tune. Stating that the city does not have the money needed to sustain the already dangerously low staffing levels. Now City Manager Jack Schnirman is calling for the layoff of 5 firefighters. Blaming the expiration of a Federal grant written by union officials as the cause of this shortfall. Local 287 officials’ site that this grant was always set to expire after two years. Why was that not budgeted for?
To run out of money before the halfway point of a budget shows there was either flat out incompetence or worse an attempt to mislead the public. Firefighters and their families should not have to suffer for his incompetence. Now everyone that lives in Long Beach or East Atlantic Beach will be less safe. Overtime will have to go up or public safety services will have to be dramatically cut.
It was a surprise to no one that the FEMA grant was going to end, he had two years to prepare. Layoffs should be the last resort. Clearly for Jack Schnirman it is the first. Unrealistic budgeting, is something Schnirman blasted the prior administration for when passing his first budget.

On pace for 4,500 calls this year and still without a hospital, cutting public safety would be a major risk. This would be “staffing for failure”. The citizens of Long Beach deserve more.
This administration ran on a platform of increased communication and transparency. They have had multiple forums to discuss a “bump out” on the boardwalk. Drastic changes to public safety should have the same or an even higher level of transparency. Not a quick meeting behind closed doors to point out what would be a major budget shortfall.

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Long Beach Remembers 9/11

9/11 Memorials

Rec Center

9/11 Memorial @ Virginia and Beech

Fireman's Memorial Center Mall by Lafayette and Park

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Remembering Those That Have Died For Our Freedom

Freedom Is Not Free

- Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

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Long Beach Professional Firefighters Golf Outing

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Adjust Your Clocks and Check Your Detectors

Adjust Your Clocks and check your Detectors for Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is a great time for you to check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in your home. Put in new batteries, test the detector, and practice your emergency drills with your family too.
Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters remind you to not only change your clock for Daylight Savings Time but change the batteries in your alarms, too.

“Saving your life can be as simple as changing your smoke alarm batteries once a year and replacing smoke alarms every seven to 10 years,” says Brian McNamara, a fire fighter at IAFF Local 287. Special smoke alarms are even available for those who are deaf or hearing-impaired.

The NFPA reports that working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
We recommend installing a dual purpose smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom and on each floor of your home.

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Do You Need an Ambulance?

This article is on
Written by LBPFA Trustee Lt. Sam Pinto

Everyone, at some point, will experience that unmistakable moment of panic upon realizing that whatever illness or injury they are suffering from is beyond the healing of a Band-Aid, ice pack or even chicken soup. A person’s first inclination may be to rush off to the emergency room, and in extreme cases, call an ambulance to get there.

Is calling an ambulance to go to the hospital appropriate for your situation? Some have become accustomed to calling an ambulance for mundane medical problems. When this occurs, the entire system pays the price. This includes you as the patient, other people who also need help, the resources of the local emergency responders and the hospital. It also may not be the most cost-effective way to get the right care.

With Long Beach Medical Center closed, and uncertainty about its future, the community senses a void in its medical care. The Fire Department, however, has been able to adapt to the lack of a community hospital. While there has been an increased burden on our resources, we have been able to adapt to the challenges and still provide paramount emergency medical care for our community.

There are often multiple, true medical emergencies occurring at the same time. There have also been times that our primary ambulance was tied up assisting in nonmedical emergencies, while other emergencies occurred. This is a preventable burden on public safety.

In true emergencies, people should call 911. In Long Beach, our Fire Department provides the community with advanced life support ambulances; Fire Department-based emergency medical services have been proven to be the most efficient EMS system for the public. Historically, 911 ambulances are designed to help in emergency medical situations. While we won’t refuse to help any one who seeks medical assistance, it is best to not tie up an ambulance when you can seek other more appropriate facilities for care.

Let me clarify. By no means am I suggesting that someone who is experiencing a true medical emergency deny themselves proper treatment. Rather, it is important that we stop and think before immediately calling for a 911 ambulance, especially if it is something that could be treated in a more appropriate setting.

So, where do you go to get appropriate care? What conditions warrant transportation by ambulance to an emergency room? When could you drive to the ER? Should you call or visit your private doctor or go to an urgent care facility?

Calling for an ambulance

You should call for an ambulance when you are suffering or witnessing a life-threatening emergency. We can treat the patient and transport to the closest appropriate facility. Life-threatening emergencies may include yet are not limited to:

•An unconscious person

•Suspected heart attack or chest pain

•Difficulty breathing or choking

•Severe bleeding

•Serious burns


•Gun shot or stabbing

•Extreme abdominal pain

•Suspected stroke

•Altered mental status

•Diabetic emergencies

•Suicide attempt

•Drug overdose or poisoning

•Trauma, serious injury or pain

•Near drowning or electrical shock


•Imminent childbirth

•Any emergency in which you are unable to safely get to hospital on your own

Emergency rooms:

•Treat severe and life-threatening condition

•Can facilitate hospital admission

•Hospital emergency rooms have specially trained doctors and staff that can recognize, diagnose and make recommendations on a wide variety of medical issues

•Emergency rooms are open 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week

If you are not suffering a life-threatening emergency and chose to go to and ER you should consider other modes of transportation than an ambulance if you have the capabilities to do so.

For many people, the term “emergency room” is synonymous with immediate medical attention. Emergency room waiting times have never been longer, and all the treatments in the emergency room can have a higher cost than a doctor’s office or urgent care center. Having an ambulance take you to the ER doesn’t mean that you will be treated right away; you will be triaged and treated with the same priority as if you walked in. If there are higher priority patients ahead of you, you may be told to go to waiting room until treatment. So if you don’t think you need an ER or expect to be admitted into the hospital, you could consider an urgent care or your private doctor instead.

Urgent care

For those requiring immediate care, local urgent care facilities are an excellent alternative. One recently opened in town, and emergency room physicians staff it. They may not have the same equipment as an emergency room, but if you’re emergency is not life-threatening, it may be a great place to start. I'd recommend being aware of your local services. You can call an urgent care and ask them what services they offer before you go there.

Urgent care centers:

•Focus on diagnosing and treating conditions that aren’t life-threatening yet need to be taken care of urgently

•Offer quality care on a walk-in basis

•Have extended evening and weekend hours

•Typically provide more complex services than a doctor’s office

•Similar to a doctors office, they can refuse to treat you

You may choose an urgent care center if you have:

•Sprains, strains and muscle aches

•Fever or flu-like symptoms

•Simple allergic reactions

•Minor burns or injuries

•Broken bones


•Coughs, colds, sore throats

•Animal bites

Calling your doctor or specialist

Your doctor knows your history better than any urgent or emergency facility. If you contact them with a non life-threatening emergency, they can either treat you or direct you to the appropriate care with out burdening any unnecessary resource. They are the best to treat you for chronic conditions, check ups and regular health maintenance. They say no one knows you like your private doctor.

Every doctor’s office, urgent care, emergency room, or hospital can offer a different level of care and services. ERs and hospitals offer more services than a doctor's office or an urgent care. Yet, not all ERs are created equally, and some are limited or offer many services.

Each Emergency room gets a designation based on its capabilities. Each specific designation is based on the staffing, the equipment, and the supporting hospital’s services. Designations can include community, area or regional or specialty centers. Using the ERs from the Long Beach Medical Center, South Nassau Communities Hospital and Nassau University Medical Center as examples, here is some information why one E.R. may be more appropriate for an ambulance to transport a specific patient to.

LBMC’s emergency room had a community level designation — it was a recognized as with all emergency rooms as a stroke center, but it wasn’t the appropriate choice for ambulances to transport pediatrics, heart attacks, trauma, burns or OBGYN patients to. This was not a poor reflection of its staff, which in my interactions has always expressed care to best of their abilities. It was based on the equipment and facilities that the hospital maintained.

South Nassau's ER is designated as an area trauma center where you can bring moderate trauma related patients, as well as obstetrics, pediatrics, STEMI heart attacks, as well as everything that a community ER covers.

NUMC’s ER is a regional trauma center that has more capabilities than of an area ER It is also additionally appropriate for burns, hyperbaric and other specialty services.

Hopefully this information helped add some certainty to your medical safety. If you are suffering from a medical emergency in Long Beach, be assured that if you call for help you will be treated appropriately. Also know that you still have options in town for appropriate care, and calling for an ambulance or going to the ER may not always be the best choice.

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Quick Stop For LBPFA On Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day morning the Long Beach Fire Department responded to the scene of a house fire on Riverside Blvd. The one room fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the room of origin.
Professionally staffed Engine 43 was on scene in minutes and quickly put water on the fire. This rapid intervention was made despite icy and snowy conditions on the roads, sidewalks, and hydrants. The nearest hydrant in this case was covered in snow and partially blocked by a parked car. Due to this alarm’s proximity to the morning change of the working tour, additional firefighters were at the firehouse at time of call. These additional firefighters helped control the initial attack line, perform a search, and place ground ladders at windows.
The fire was knocked down within fifteen minutes. Additional units were called to the scene in case there was a need for assistance. Rapid deployment of on duty personnel was a major factor in the safe and rapid knock down of this fire. The LBPFA strives to maintain a level of staffing that will keep the citizens of Long Beach safe. The rapid deployment of fire service personnel is what leads to outcomes like this.
The members of the LBFD would like to remind citizens to "Adopt a hydrant". Keeping a 3 foot radius around hydrants clear of snow and debris protects your home.

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LBPFA Braces For Tough Weather

A winter storm warning is in effect for Long Island beginning at midnight, courtesy of a nor'easter roaring up the coast, forecasters said.

Eight to 10 inches is now forecast for most of Nassau County and for western Suffolk, roughly north of the Long Island Expressway. The rest of the Island is looking at 6 to 8 inches, with 4 to 6 forecast for the tip of the South Fork, the weather service said.

Northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph are predicted, with occasional gusts up to 45 mph, forecasters said.

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Know your Rights! Garrity Rights

Garrity Rights protect public employees from being compelled to incriminate themselves during investigatory interviews conducted by their employers.

This protection stems from the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that the government cannot compel a person to be a witness against him/herself.

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Do you know your rights???

What is an investigative/Weingarten meeting?

The Federal Statute allows a union representative to be present at any examination of an employee in connection with an investigation, if the employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action and he/she requests representation.

Investigative meetings are sometimes called Weingarten meetings because of a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court case, "J. Weingarten, Inc. v. NLRB." In this case, the Court determined that if an employee is being questioned by management and has a reasonable fear that discipline may result, the employee is entitled to representation, if he or she asks for assistance.

In order for a Weingarten meeting to exist, there must be an investigation, a bargaining unit employee involved, a representative of the employer must be present, the employee must reasonably believes that discipline may result, and the employee must request representation.

When an employee exercises their Weingarten rights, management has the option to:

Grant the employee's request
Discontinue the interview
Carefully offer the employee a choice of continuing without representation or having no interview at all
Learn More
When do members have the right to union representation?
What are the union representative's rights?

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“Jaws of Life” Donated To First Responding Units

JANUARY 22, 2014 This month’s Long Beach City Council meeting ended with a surprise donation to the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association(LBPFA). John Farina, wheeling a complete set of hydraulic extrication tools behind him, presented this gift during the good and welfare portion of the meeting. These tools, more commonly known as the “Jaws of Life,” will assist the professionally staffed first responding units in rapidly removing trapped passengers in a motor vehicle accident. Farina, a thirty year member and Captain from FDNY, wanted to help secure the safety of those that may be trapped and in imminent danger. Realizing that the first responding firefighters were showing up to calls without the needed extrication equipment; Farina took matters in his own hands.
Though Farina is aware that the department already has two working sets of extrication tools, he feels it would be beneficial to be on the first responding apparatus. Given his experience as fire fighter, Farina is well aware of how each second counts in situations involving motor vehicle extrication. Presently, the two working extrication tools are on rescue truck 232. This truck is solely staffed by volunteer personnel with no guarantee of rapid deployment. Professionally staffed engine 2343 and ambulance 2319 are the first responding units to any call requiring the “Jaws of Life.” “I want this tool to be used by the professional firefighters on 2343” Farina stated to the council, “this will be at no cost to the city”.
Deployment of this tool will enhance the emergency response and help get trauma patients to the hospital faster. When encountering an entrapment, it is the goal of rescue crews to extricate thee patient(s) and have them on the way to hospital in ten minutes. This is referred to as the “Platinum Ten.” In this time frame, emergency crews must assess the situation and initiate treatment and transport of casualties. The use of hydraulic tools facilitates rapid access to the patient, allowing emergency crews to assess for trauma related injuries like internal bleeding or musculoskeletal injuries. Patients’ chances of survival are best when they have rapid transport to an emergency room and operating room.
The members and officers of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association greatly appreciate this donation and look forward to putting this tool to good use when needed in the future. The last thing any member of a first responding unit wants is to lack a tool that could expedite patient care when responding to an emergency. There have been occasions when first responding units had to rely on hand tools to remove victims from cars because the” Jaws of Life” were not deployed on time. All thirty members of engine 2343 have completed training in extrication and the use of the “Jaws of Life” tools. This is part of the extensive training the professional members receive at the Career Fire Academy in Westchester New York. There is no doubt that the safety of the people and visitors of Long Beach will be increased with this donation. Thank you very much Captain Farina!

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Cold Weather + Snow Shoveling = Big Risk for Heart Attack

Contributed By Sam Pinto

I recently had a conversation with a family friend who happens to be the Chief Cardiologist at a Local Heart Hospital. We spoke about the health risks of snow shoveling or any strenuous activity in cold weather. We all have been sore with muscle aches after shoveling. But keep in mind sudden exertion activities in cold weather can trigger a heart attack or even sudden cardiac arrest.

Your body has a response mechanism when it senses cold temperatures. Your valves and vessels constrict or tighten, this is done to maintain the core temperature for your major organs. When that occurs, people who may already have narrow, clogged or constricted vessels will have a greater decrease in circulation and blood flow. This decreased blood flow will lead to increased oxygen demand for your organs and especially your heart. Now by shoveling snow you are potentiating that need for more oxygen and the results can be deadly.

Snow shoveling can be more strenuous than a full workout at the gym. Most of the time you don't realize how strenuous it is until its too late and your body is tired. It starts by breathing heavy and feeling the burn in muscles you didn’t even thought you had. What you are feeling in those muscles is the same thing going on to your heart and the vessels that supply it. While this may not be a problem if an individual is healthy and fit, it can be dangerous if you are not. Shoveling, even pushing a heavy snow blower, can cause sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and the cold air can cause constriction of the blood vessel and decrease oxygen to the heart. All these work together to increase the work of the heart and trigger a potentially fatal heart attack.

Individuals who are at risk of a heart attack during cold outdoor activities include:
• Anyone elderly
• Those with a prior heart attack
• Those with known heart disease
• Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol
• Smokers
• Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle
• People with high cholesterol or high blood pressure

Such individuals should think twice about shoveling snow and should talk to their doctor before taking on such a task.

Before You Shovel Snow
• Talk to your doctor before you take on this task of snow shoveling
• Avoid shoveling immediately after you awaken as most heart attacks occur early in the morning when blood is more prone to clotting. Wait for at least 30 minutes and warm up
• Do not eat heavy meal before shoveling: blood gets diverted from the heart to the stomach
• Warm up your muscles before starting by walking for a few minutes or marching in place
• Do not drink coffee or smoke for at least one hour before or one hour after shoveling or during breaks. These are stimulants and elevate your blood pressure and heart rate

While Shoveling Snow
• Use a small shovel: shovel many small loads instead of heavy ones
• Begin slowly and take frequent, 15 minute breaks
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
• Dress in layers, to avoid hypothermia (low body temperature) or overheating
• Cover your head and neck (50% body heat lost thru head and neck)
• Cover your mouth (breathing cold air can cause angina or trigger breathing problems
• Watch for warning signs of a heart attack, lightheadedness, nausea. dizziness, being short of breath or if you have pressure, tightness or burning in chest, jaw, neck, arms or back.

If you think you are having a heart attack call 911 or if in Long Beach dial 889 7800 directly to fire department dispatch. All of the ambulances staffed by Long Beach Professional Firefighters, are also certified as Advanced Life Support Critical Care Technicians or Paramedics. They are equipped with advanced equipment and medications to help you during a medical emergency.

So in closing, if you haven't shoveled in a while please use caution and be aware of the stress it does on your body. This is serious exercise; if you have any concerns that your body may not be ready for such a strenuous event, have someone else do it. Its worth the 10 bucks to have your neighbors kid do the shoveling for you. If you see a neighbor who is elderly or at risk, be a good neighbor and warn them of the risks and recommend someone else to do it.

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Please Clear Nearby Hydrants

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Blizzard To Hit Long Beach

A blizzard will grip Long Island Thursday night into Friday, with the entire region expecting a significant snow storm that could close highways.

The Blizzard Warning is in effect only for Nassau and Suffolk counties from 6 p.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday, but New York City, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut are under a Winter Storm Warning. Central and southern New Jersey are under a Winter Storm Watch. Complicating the storm will be brutal cold, with lows on Friday in the single digits and wind chill well below zero in places.

The Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association hopes to have the man power to handle all emergencies during this time.

Be Prepared!!!
If your city or town is in imminent danger of a very heavy snowfall or blizzard, most likely your local weather and news media have let you know in plenty of time. They will be issuing warnings and alerts and, again, should be taken seriously. Here are a few things to consider before the blizzard arrives:

1. Prepare for power outages and blocked roads. Winds, ice and snow tend to bring down power lines. Make sure that you have candles, matches or lighters, a battery operated radio, and emergency food supplies and tons of blankets. Think about where you'll put candles to keep them lit and safe. Have plenty of food staples like powdered milk and protein bars. If your water supply depends on an electric pump, bottled water may be a good idea.

2. Staying warm when the power goes out may be a problem. Don't think you're immune if you don't use electricity to heat your home. Many people don't realize that their heating system depends on a boiler that is powered by electricity. Electric stoves and gas stoves that depend on electricity will be powerless if the storm knocks the lines down. Be prepared with alternative heat sources and plenty of blankets.

3. Traveling in a blizzard is just not a good idea. If you are on the road during a blizzard look for a hotel or motel nearby and stay off the road until driving conditions are safe again.

4. If you get stranded in your car during a bad snow storm be prepared with plenty of warm clothes and packaged snack foods. It may seem sensible to leave the engine running to keep warm, but it isn't. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is high. Snow can block your exhaust pipe and fill the car with deadly fumes. Keeping one window open just a bit will help avoid this. If you keep the engine running you may run out of gas before the storm is over. A better idea is to run the engine in short bursts. Turn the engine on long to keep the car warm and then turn it off. Keep this routine up until the conditions are stable enough for you to get back on the road.

5. Designate a spot, in the hall closet, to keep a bag of warm clothes for each person in the household. If the lights are out, it will be hard to find that really warm turtle neck or a pair of warm socks or the dark. Count on the power being out for at least a day or two and have some board games and a deck of cards on hand. Arts and crafts are always fun for the kids (especially if there isn't any television to distract them) so make sure you have some of those supplies easily available.

6. Along with warm clothes and blankets, consider stocking your Blizzard Kit with the following: batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, nonperishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a non electric can opener, a small cooler, candles, prescription medicines and any over-the-counter remedies you use regularly; and if you have young infants or toddlers - diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food.

7. Stock up on shovels and snow removal equipment before the snow storm. You may also want to cover the windows and spaces around the doors to keep drafts at a minimum in the event the heat shuts off.

8. If you live in an area that gets bad storms regularly consider investing in an emergency generator. Having an alternate source of power if the main lines go down can be a life saver.

9. A cellular phone is a 'hot' commodity for the snowbound. If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged and easy to find. Even if the phone and power lines go out you can get word out that you are stranded and need help.

10. Finally, STAY INSIDE. However tempting it may be for kids to go out and make snow angels or play in the falling snow, use caution. Those blowing winds - both before and after a blizzard - are cold enough to cause frostbite, and snowdrifts may hide dangers children might otherwise see. Stay indoors where it's safe, and warm!

Blizzards are serious business. Weather forecasters can only predict so much. Educate yourself and stay on top of the updates in your area. There is no harm in being overly cautious. In most cases where a blizzard is concerned, it truly is better to be safe than sorry.

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Chili Cook Off

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Fire Contained in North Park Section of LB

A fire broke out at an East End home early Monday morning.

The Long Beach Fire Department received a call during the 7 a.m. hour about a fire in a home at 142 E. Pine St., and when Engine 2343 arrived at the scene they found smoke coming from the first and second floors.

Due to a rapid response,firefighters kept the blaze confined to the basement and extinguished it with minimal damage to the home, he said, and no serious injuries were reported at the scene.

The fire is under investigation by the Nassau County Fire Marshals Office.

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Have a Happy and Safe Hanukkah!

We would like to wish all who celebrate Hanukkah safe and enjoyable holiday.

Religious candle safety
Lit candles are used in religious services, in places of worship, and in the home. Whether you are using one candle, or more than one on a candelabra, kinara, or menorah, make sure you take a few moments to learn about using candles safely.

• Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
• Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.
• When lighting candles at a candle lighting service, have the person with the unlit candle dip their candle into the flame of the lit candle.
• Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire.
• Candles placed on, or near tables, altars, or shrines, must be watched by an adult.
• Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
• If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.

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Lt. Sam Pinto - Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips

Long Beach Professional Firefighter Association Trustee Lt. Sam Pinto writes a monthly safety article for the Long Beach Herald.


Our homes will soon be filled with the aromas of food being cooked. Undoubtedly, some homes will also be filled with smoke — hopefully from a few overcooked appetizers rather than a kitchen or grease fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires involving cooking peak during major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving has triple the average number of fires involving cooking equipment.

Cooking fires are very common and usually avoidable. They are the most frequent cause of fires in homes. Cooking-related fires were responsible for 40 percent of all reported fires in homes, and in more than 80 percent of fires in apartment buildings. Unattended equipment is a key factor in one-third of those fires.

Where do these fires start? What causes them? Ranges or cook tops are the appliances involved in the majority of cooking fires. The most common cause of these fires is due to unattended cooking, with food igniting into fire. Two-thirds of house fires involving cooking equipment begin with the ignition of food, mostly being fat, oil, or grease; causing roughly three-quarters of civilian deaths, injuries and direct property damage associated with food ignitions.

Some appliances and ovens are designed to have high heat and flames within. Do not open the door of your oven or microwave if you see unusual flames or smoke inside. Keep the door closed, this will limit the spread of the smoke or fire, turn off the appliance, and call the Fire Department.

Follow these tips when cooking or dealing with a cooking fire:

• Stand by your pan. Don’t leave unattended food cooking on the stovetop.

• Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, and then turn off the heat.

• Smother baking soda over a grease fire. It is an extinguishing agent. Never use flour instead of baking soda, it can increase the fire.

• Never move a burning pan — you can be badly burned or spread the fire.

• Never throw water on or use a water extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire. The force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.

• Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents.

• Create a three foot-wide “child-free zone” around the stove. Keep children and pets away while cooking to prevent burns and scalds.

• Keep combustible objects such as potholders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.

• Don’t place any metal inside a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.

• Don’t use the oven to store items, especially oven mitts or towels.

In the event of a fire, leave the building immediately and call the Fire Department. Leave the firefighting to us — the majority of victims injured in fires are actually hurt while attempting to fight the fire. All fires and burns, regardless of size, should be reported. Don’t disable detectors to avoid false alarms while cooking. Relocate the detector, or replace it with a photoelectric type. Working smoke detectors can double a family’s chances of surviving a fire.

In regards to a deep-fried turkey, I strongly recommend against it. Turkey fryers are dangerous and present numerous safety hazards. According to the Underwriters Laboratories, fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. As a result of UL’s tests, it has decided not to certify any turkey fryers.

These safety hazards include:

• Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.

• If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, it may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.

• Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This may result in an extensive fire.

• With no thermostat controls, the units have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

• The lid and handle of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

While I recommend against it, if using a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

• They should always be used outdoors at a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

• Never use in a garage or on a wooden deck.

• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.

• Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping

• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch it carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

• Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

• To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix; water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

Remember, unattended items on a stove have the greatest incidence of fire, covering a pan fire with a lid is the safest way to put it out.

Lt. Sam Pinto is a Professional firefighter, nationally certified fire instructor and paramedic for the LBFD. He can be reached at

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Industrial Trailer Fire In Long Beach

The Long Beach Fire Department responded to a fire Tuesday night Novermber 19th around 10:30pm on the side of a window manufacturing warehouse on park place. Located in the industrial area by the bay, between the LIRR train station and the Long Beach Bridge. Upon arrival the first responding engine 2343, staffed by members of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association, encountered an oversized intermodal trailer fully involved with fire. The trailer was loaded with and surrounded by combustible materials, fueling a heavy fire load. This trailer was known to be inhabited by transient squatters. The trailer was alongside a large commercial building. With a high probability of the fire extending into the building, the immediate response and rapid application of water limited the fire from spreading into it. Behind the fire is a series of occupied town-house apartments, and to the east of the fire neighbored a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The first arriving Fire Officers conducted a search for victims and locations of fire in the area surrounding trailers. There was limited damage to the outside of the building, and no damage inside. This incident again proves that the response time by trained personnel has a direct impact on limiting the extent of fire and its associated damages. On average, studies show that fire doubles every thirty (30) seconds. With increased fuel for the fire, there is increased acceleration. Getting water on the fire fast is the most important things you can do to mitigate such an emergency. In this case, the on-duty professionally staffed Ambulance 2319 was not on a prior call and was able to assist Engine 2343 in firefighting operations. The first responders from 2343 and 2319 were able to secure a water hydrant, engage the fire pump, determine extent and type of fire, and ultimately knock it down. It was challenging stretching the attack hose line due to the extended distance of the fire in relation to the closest water hydrant. While initiating fire attack, the first responding Engine encountered residents of the town houses nearby whom voiced their concerns of the fire spreading to their homes. The fire was contained to its point of origin, and did not further spread.

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Mount Vernon Tragedy Highlights Need of Proper Staffing

Mount Vernon Tragedy Highlights Need for Proper Emergency Staffing

A tragedy in Mount Vernon, New York might have been averted had the fire department adhered to national standards of adequate staffing.  Four citizens perished in a fire in which the first arriving fire engine had only two firefighters.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, a four man engine crew is the minimum needed to safely initiate fire suppression at a scene.  In Mount Vernon’s scenario, with a two man crew, one firefighter is required to secure a water source leaving just one firefighter to find and attack the fire and perform search and rescue.  It is extremely dangerous and also forbidden for only one firefighter to enter a burning structure.  A two man pair is not a crew.  Mount Vernon has over 67, 000 residents and employs just 138 professional firefighters.  This leaves the Mount Vernon Professional Firefighters  with a ratio of one firefighter for every 485 citizens.  Not all firefighters are working at the same time.  With only seventeen firefighters on duty at a given time, that leaves a very dangerous one firefighter per 3941 residents.   

                As troublesome as numbers are, these ratios exceed the amount of staffing in Long Beach, New York dramatically.  Long Beach has a lower population in total, but Long Beach is more densely populated.    Long Beach is the 14th most densely populated city in the United States of cities with populations over 10,000.  With only 30 professional firefighters in total for a population of 35,500 the ratio is one professional fire fighter per every 1,183 citizens.  Our present staffing in Long Beach only guarantees five firefighters on duty at any time.  This ratio is one on duty firefighter per every 7,100 citizens for both fire and medical emergencies.  Long Beach Professional Firefighters also staff the busiest ambulance in Long Island. There is a high likelihood that two members will be out of town in Oceanside, or Far Rockaway,  transporting a patient to a hospital.  In this scenario,  which occurs over 3,000 times a year the ratio of on duty firefighters in Long Beach then becomes one firefighter per 12,000 citizens.  Mount Vernon is suffering enough with seventeen on duty firefighters per 4,000 citizens with no chance of them leaving town.  Considering the higher density and isolation of living on an island, Long Beach should have more on duty professional emergency personnel. 

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Staffing Facts for LBFD

NFPA 1710 FACTS for the Citizens of Long Beach

Long Beach, NY has what is known as a “combination” Fire Department. A limited amount of on duty, state qualified, career firefighters are on duty each day. The professionally staffed firefighters respond to all emergencies within the borders of Long Beach and East Atlantic Beach.

These emergencies include over 3,000 Emergency Medical calls, 375 investigation calls (Carbon Monoxide, elevator emergencies, etc) and about 500 general fire alarms throughout the city. The responses to these alarms are supplemented by the dedicated volunteers of the LBFD.

There are many tasks that need to be accomplished by an engine company for a successful firefighting operation. These include securing a water source, reporting conditions and location of fire, if needed perform search and rescue, and stretch an attack hose line.

However due to the unavoidable and natural delay in volunteer response the professionally staffed Fire Engine also has to preform Truck company operations. These include finding the fire, and making entry. The on-duty Lieutenant must not only direct the attack team, but must also search and find the fire.

When having to fight a fire, the Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association members are faced with increased danger and responsibility. They are most likely arriving on their own with less firefighters then called for by NFPA 1710.

NFPA 1710 is a standard that sets minimum criteria for the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency operations to protect the safety of the Public and Fire Department employees.

NFPA 1710 Background:
In 2001, after 10 years of research and debate, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued the standard NFPA 1710. The standard sets minimum criteria for the staffing of fire fighter crews, and how they will respond and operate at emergency scenes.

These guidelines were developed for your safety, fire fighter safety, and the safety of your property.

* The National Fire Protection Association is:
-An international organization that establishes organizational guidelines that are nationally recognized and followed by fire departments.
-Comprised of more than 80 national trade and professional organizations, which provide input towards development of fire industry guidelines.

NFPA 1710 Requirements:
Fire Fighters will respond with a minimum of 4 personnel on each apparatus.
Fire Fighters will arrive at the emergency scene within 4 minutes of the dispatch center receiving the call.
The correct number of fully staffed and strategically located fire stations must exist to accomplish the standard.

Benefits of Compliance:
NFPA 1710 Is an Insurance Policy for the Community and its Businesses.
NFPA 1710 offers insurance for the local economy by guaranteeing the community and its businesses that Fire and Emergency Medical Services will respond promptly and appropriately in an emergency.

Even a moderate sized fire can hurt the community’s tax base. When businesses close, employees don’t get paid. They can’t put money back into the community, and may go from being taxpayers to public support recipients. The business can’t pay taxes because it is not selling its goods and services.

A fire that devastates a building will cause the company to consider whether it should reopen. The company may relocate to another city or state, meaning a permanent loss to the workforce and tax base.

NFPA 1710 Enhances Public Safety.
By responding quickly to a fire, we keep a small incident small.
When responses take more than a few minutes, losses escalate substantially, resulting in a greater loss of life and property.

Communities with good records of emergency response times enhance the quality of life for current residents, and may help attract new residents and businesses.

Supports our nation’s Homeland Security Plan.

NFPA 1710 Will Save Lives.
Firefighting is dangerous work.

NFPA 1710 applies the documented and proven science of fire behavior and emergency medicine to the basic resources required for effective fire department deployment.

Allows a community to determine if the resources allocated for all emergencies are sufficient to control the incident and protect lives and property.

NFPA 1710 Protects the Community Against Liability.
Courts often rely upon NFPA Standards to determine the “industry standard” for fire protection and safety measures. NFPA doctrines are most frequently found in common law negligence claims.
NFPA 1710 could be highly relevant to the question of whether a jurisdiction has negligently failed to provide adequate fire or emergency medical protection to an individual harmed in a fire or medical emergency.

Jurisdictions assume some additional legal risk by failing to abide by NFPA 1710, even where it has failed to adopt the standard.

Long Beach is the 14th most densely populated city in the US with municipalities over 10k.

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NIOSH Study Reinforces Link Between Fire Fighting and Cancer

NIOSH Study Reinforces Link Between Fire Fighting and Cancer

October 17, 2013 – A new study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on mortality and cancer incidence in career fire fighters shows an elevated risk of several types of cancer - and of all cancers combined - compared to the general U.S. population.

The just-released study, published in the Occupational & Environmental Medicine, is among the largest examining cancer risk in career fire fighters, with a study population of 30,000 fire fighters from IAFF locals in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

The study identified higher incidence rates of cancers of the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems, which suggest that fire fighters are more likely to develop these cancers compared to the general U.S. population. The incidence rate of mesothelioma was two times greater among fire fighters compared to the general population, indicating likely occupational exposures to asbestos, the known cause of mesothelioma.

These findings are consistent with previous, smaller studies assessing the cancer risk in fire fighters. The large study population and follow up for the NIOSH study strengthen the evidence for the relationship between fire fighting and cancer, and provides further support for the IAFF position that fire fighters are at increased risk of cancer due to occupational exposures to carcinogens. The data also supports the ongoing need for cancer presumptive legislation, which entitles fire fighters diagnosed with certain cancers to disability retirement benefits and workers compensation benefits.

This study will serve as a foundation for ongoing analyses of fire fighter cancer risks. The next phase of the study will look at employment histories to learn more about the relationship between occupational exposures and cancer risk.

Fire fighters can be exposed to carcinogens during fire suppression, overhaul activities and in the firehouse. Occupational carcinogens include diesel exhaust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and various combustion byproducts found in smoke. Exposures can occur through inhalation of smoke or diesel exhaust, and skin exposure can occur through contaminated personal protective equipment and turnout gear.

To reduce your overall risk of exposure:

Shower after returning from a fire

Use SCBA during overhaul activities

Perform gross field decontamination of PPE to remove as much soot and particulates as possible

Clean your PPE (i.e., gloves, hood and helmet) after a fire

Store PPE in dedicated storage areas and not in living quarters

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Fire Engines Staffed with only 3 Firefighters is not enough

International City Managers Association (ICMA) Study
Understaffing of fire departments is a nationwide problem. So much so in fact, that the ICMA has conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of fire companies based on staffing. This information was published Managing Fire Services, 2nd edition. This international organization of city leaders recognizes the importance of a properly staffed fire department. This publication included this information:

1. Fire suppression operations have three basic functions: (1) RESCUE; (2) work involving ladder, forcible entry, and ventilation; and (3) the application of water. To raise ladders, ventilate, search, and RESCUE simultaneously takes quick action by at least FOUR and often EIGHT or more firefighters, each under the supervision of an officer.

2. If about SIXTEEN trained firefighters are not operating at the scene of a working fire within the critical time period, then DOLLAR LOSS and INJURIES are significantly INCREASED as is fire spread.

3. As firefighting tactics were conducted and judged for effectiveness;

5 -person companies were 100% effective.

4 -person companies were 65% effective.

3 -person companies were 38% effective.

According to this study done by city managers NATIONWIDE, Mt. Long Beach falls is right at 38% OF TOTAL EFFECTIVENESS due to staffing. Additional The first due engine in Long Beach must preform additional duties while waiting for volunteer truck companies to arrive at scene. This adds to the danger that Long Beach Professional Firefighters face!

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LBFD Battles Fire On Very Hot Day

Already responding to many extreame heat related emergenies LBFD makes a quick stop due to fast response.  

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Quick Respnse Becomes A Quick Save

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LBPFA Salutes Those That Have Died For Our Freedom

Freedom Is Not Free

- Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

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LBPFA Assisted Animal Control

Members of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters assisted Animal Control in the extrication of a dog trapped in a fence. A Pitt Bull was trapped in a fence located at 310 West Olive Street this mourning around 11:15 the morning of June 13th 2013. Although not typical this is just another example of the type of calls our members respond to in the course of their day.

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Four Houston Fire Fighters Die Battling Blaze

Four Houston Fire Fighters Die Battling Blaze
June 1, 2013 –– The IAFF is deeply saddened to report the line-of-duty deaths of four Houston, TX Local 341 fire fighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice from a fire in southwest Houston May 31.

Captain EMT Matthew Renaud, 35. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October 2001.

Probationary fire fighter Anne Sullivan, 24. She graduated from Houston Fire Department Academy in April.

Fire fighter EMT Robert Garner, 29. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October of 2010.

Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee, 41. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in August of 2001.

Memorial service arrangements are still being finalized. Services are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 5.

The Local 341 contact for IAFF affiliates sending honor guards and pipes and drums is Brian Wilcox. He can be reached or (713) 205-0000.

Houston Local 341 President Jeff Caynon says, "We mourn the loss of our three brothers and our sister and will forever honor their sacrifices. This tragedy underscores the inherent dangers of our profession. Please keep Houston fire fighters in your thoughts and prayers."

"On behalf of the IAFF and the Executive Board, our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our brothers and sister who gave the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those injured and all the members of Local 341," says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends and their brothers and sisters in Houston,” says IAFF 11th District Vice President Sandy McGhee. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy.”

The IAFF and Local 341 are monitoring the conditions of the six injured fire fighters and will be assisting them and their families in every way possible.

To help provide benefits to the families of the four fallen Houston fire fighters, bank accounts have been set up at Houston, Texas Firefighters Federal Credit Union as follows:

• Matthew Renaud: Account 236014
• Robert Bebee: Account 236015
• Robert Garner: Account 236016
• Anne Sullivan: Account 236017

You can also donate here to the 100 Club of Houston:

For the most up to date information, check the Houston Local 341 web site and Facebook page.

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Long Beach Police and Professional firefighters rescue two from ocean after beach park closed.

At approximately 8:15 pm on Memorial Day, a full two hours after Beach Park had closed, a Long Beach police officer noticed two bathers in distress. They were drifting approximately 100 feet out in the ocean on Long Beach Blvd in the choppy waters. For so many beach goers this weekend, the ocean had been a place of relaxation and fun, but for these two the ocean had become a perilous place. The officer quickly notified his dispatcher of the situation. In turn, alerting the fire department, and the chief of lifeguards to respond. Aware of both the personal risks he, as well as the fact that every passing moment could bring greater danger for the swimmers; the officer entered the water.
The swimmers were a male in his mid-thirties, and his approximately four year old son. They were clinging to a child’s pool flotation ring, aggressively trying to stay above water and get closer to the jetty. As the officer got closer, he realized the pair was stuck in a deep hole and a strong rip current was preventing them from swimming to safety. The officer reached for the child on the inflatable ring. He attempted to return the boy to shore but became heavily tangled in fishing line around his legs.
As he entered the water, six responding professional firefighters arrived at the beach with water rescue and emergency medical equipment in hand. Noticing the officer and the two victims in distress, two firefighters swam out with rescue torps and quickly made contact with the three involved. One firefighter reached the officer and child, and swam them out of danger. The male victim was actively drowning and thrashing through the water, creating another challenge for the second rescuer. As the two victims and officer were being secured by the firefighters that had swam o, the four other firefighters deployed a specially-trained rescue swimmer with rope to bring them back to shore. The rescue swimmer assisted the firefighters in the water by securing the victims to the ropes so the firefighters on shore could pull them all in safely. Soon after additional resources from the lifeguards, police, and fire department arrived to assess the scene and provide medical assistance.
The two victims and the officer were transported to the hospital for observation. All persons involved are said to be doing well. Due to the quick and coordinated response of emergency personnel, everyone is expected to be ok.

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Two New Members Start Training

Of the five firefighters that were hired in October, two have yet to attend the required Career Academy. Today, Michael Seemann and Christopher Koehle have started training at the Westchester Fire Academy. Here they will learn the necessary skills needed to become certified New York State Career Firefighters. From basic firefighting to Advanced Motor Vehicle Extrication including the use of hydraulic tools like the “Jaws of life.” They will become better able to recognize types of structures, types of construction and proper terminology used to describing location in reference to the structures. Due to the specific mission and role as the first responding unit professional firefighters are assigned to the company of Engine 2343. However they will be given detailed instruction on the strategies, tactics, and equipment of both engines and ladder trucks. They will be trained on how to navigate through structures in zero visibility conditions. They will be taught search and rescue techniques as well as the advanced training and techniques needed to rescue trapped and injured firefighters. With these 17 weeks of full-time training these members will join the ranks of the most highly trained firefighters in all Long Island.
Already having obtained certifications of basic Emergency Medical Technicians. Soon after graduation from this Academy they will start the 10 month program of Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Technicians - Critical Care. This advanced life support certification includes training in the aggressive intervention techniques such as, airway control and ventilation, endotracheal intubation; obtaining intravenous access, administration of medications by intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous route, defibrillation, EKG interpretation.

The members of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association wish FF Seemann and Koehle the best of luck in the vigorous and elite fire and rescue training that lies ahead!!!!!

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Long Beach Professional Firefighters Congratulate Academy Grads

Congratulations to our three new graduates form the Westchester Career Fire Academy. Probationary Firefighters Alex Sharpe, Bryan Jones and Brian Olson have successfully completed their required training and are ready to join the rest of the crew at Long Beach Fire Department Head Quarters.
The Career Academy (Basic Firefighter Training Program) is a joint effort between the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the Career Chiefs.
The Basic Firefighter Training Program is designed to provide the firefighter with the essential knowledge and basic skills necessary to perform their job safely, efficiently, and as part of a firefighting team. The information provided in both the classroom and practical skills training sessions are provided to help the firefighter save the life of a fire victim, a fellow firefighter, themselves and to efficiently mitigate the emergency that they were called upon.

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The members of the Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas.!

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