Faulty Leadership, not Faulty Equipment, at Fault in DFD
By Chief Reginald Amos, Ret.
This is a report about the three year old that died from smoke inhalation and how the Detroit Fire Department dispatched a truck which arrived first on the scene without working fire pumps.
Initially it was reported the pumps were broken, then it was reported the pumps were disconnected the truth of the matter is the pumps worked but the firefighters were ordered not to use the pumps because of the following:
Per Fire Commissioner Donald Austin “we did not have certified drivers to operate the vehicle”. It must be noted the reason there are no certified drivers is the Fire Department Failed to train the personnel. The three year old vehicle was delivered in 2008.
Fire Department sources say fire department administrators did not want firefighters to damage the vehicle.
This vehicle was taken to the fire academy the day after the little girl died, Fire Commissioner Austin and Deputy Fire Commissioner Wheeler were present and the truck pumps were tested and the pumps worked fine.
On “Let It Rip” this past friday (9/16/11) news reporter Charlie LeDuff produced a copy of the order that the pumps were not to be used.
This is Gross Negligence, Malfeasance, Misfeasance and Nonfeasance and Criminal.
If this is the best Commissioner Austin can come up with after nearly four months as Fire Commissioner, Mayor Bing needs to cut his losses and immediately terminate Fire Commissioner Austin and the entire Fire Department leadership Team. If Commissioner Austin was in Los Angeles, California as Fire Chief he would have been fired immediately.
Contributing Factors in a case for Immediate Dismissal:
• Commissioner Austin failed to properly assess the Deroit Fire Department.
• Commissioner Austin is an outsider and does not know or understand the dynamics of the Detroit Fire Department and is being advised by Deputy Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler and 2nd Deputy Fire Commissioner Cheryl Campbell both of whom were members of the leadership team that created the problems. I must add that neither of which have Fire Command Experience or Supervisory Experience.
• Poor Management Decisions, Key Mistakes and Dysfunctional Ineffective Leadership.
Commissioner Austin has designed and implemented an Organization Chart creating two additional 2nd Deputy Fire Commissioners who have absolutely No Fire Service Experience or knowledge which by my estimation will cost taxpayers approximately $750,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 (Salary and Benefits).
The fact of the matter is, Austin was brought here to correct Dysfunctional Leadership, Mismanagement, Firefighting and EMS Response Time and Apparatus and Equipment Issues.
The question is: How can Austin be successfull with the Deputy Fire Commissioner and three 2nd Deputy Fire Commissioners not having Successful Fire Command, Supervisory Experience or Knowledge of the Fire Service. This is a report about the three year old that died from smoke inhalation and the Detroit Fire Department dispatched a truck which arrived first on the scene without working fire pumps.