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News Archive» March 2001

3/29/01 Line of Duty Death

Jim Heenan Line of Duty Death      Our sympathies go out to the Heenan family and the Verga Fiire Department. Jim Heenan, 37, an 18 year veteran volunteer firefighter with the Verga Fire and Rescue died from injuries sustained while fighting a structure fire on January 1, 2001. He was searching for reported victims when the floor beneath him collapsed and he fell into the basement. He was trapped in debris for about 20 minutes before being rescued. He suffered burns to 74% of his body and had been through several surgeries before he passed away March 25, 2001.

     Our brother Jim left a wife, Patti, and two sons, Jim (16), and Mike (14). Donations can be made to the:
FireFighter Jim Heenan Memorial Fund
Att: Stephanie Thayer
Bank of Gloucester County
1100 Old Broadway
Woodbury, NJ 08096
(856) 845-0700

3/26/01 WFD Press Photos

     Structure fire and MVA Rollover 3-25-01 - Photos in WFD Press Photo Gallery.

3/24/01 Site Revamped - Change Favorites

     Well, I hate to get technical, but here goes. The way I had the site designed - with server-side-includes, caused the pages to load VERY slowly. I have found a way to make global changes without using server-side-includes, so as you may have noticed, the pages are opening much faster. There may still be a bug here and there, if you find one - please email me and let me know.

     If you have this site as a Favorite, or as your Homepage, please click on the approriate links to the left to reassign them because the page names have changed - .shtml to .html. Thanks.

3/22/01 Low Bridge

     Sometimes you just can't catch a break. A new aerial ladder truck on loan to the Boston Fire Department came to an abrupt stop today when it became wedged under an overpass. Three firefighters sustained minor injuries in the accident. The truck was removed from the scene by about noon, but not before causing a major traffic back-up on the north-bound lane.



3/22/01 Raffles - Win an American LaFrance Bar!

Click here for Raffle Info      I would like to inform you of two raffles going on. The first raffle is being held by my father's bagpipe band. The Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums is raffling off a custom bar fashioned from the cab of a 1974 American LaFrance 100' Midship Aerial. Tickets are $10.00 - more information can be found here. I also manage their website. If you would like to check it out, visit

     The second raffle I was informed of by a friend. It is to benefit the Litchfield Fire Department. First prize is a 2001 Harley Davidson Fat Boy, 2nd prize is a Big Screen TV, 3rd prize is a computer system, 4th prize is a trip to Disney, 5th prize is a canoe. Tickets are $25.00 each and will help purchase new safety equipment for the Litchfield Fire Department. Tickets can be purchased online along with more information here.

3/22/01 Fallen Brother Bill Ellison Local 3111

Bill Ellison

     I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the Ellison family and the Anderson and Miami Township Fire Departments. Bill Ellison, 38, a firefighter on both departments succumbed to injuries sustained at a structure fire on March 8, 2001. During a search, the floor collapsed, sending him into the well involved basement. When rescuers found him with a thermal-imaging camera, he was badly burned and unconcious. Bill was hospitalized for 12 days at University Hospital, where doctors treated him for third degree burns to 50% of his body. Bill stayed with his family long enough for his wife and two daughters to see him, tell him they loved him, and say goodbye. Shortly afterwards, doctors removed him from the respirator. His heart stopped within a couple of minutes.

      Our brother Bill left a wife and two daughters. Donations can be made to the William Ellison fund at any Fifth-Third Bank branch, or by mail: FireFighter Bill Ellison's Fund, 38 Fountain Square Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45263.

     For more information please visit Bill Ellison's Memorial Page and Bill Ellison's Photo Gallery.

3/22/01 Bret Tarver Photo Gallery and Donation Info

     I added 10 more photos to Bret Tarver's Photo Gallery and I added a phone number for donations to Bret Tarver's Memorial Page.

3/19/01 Fallen Brother Bret Tarver Local 493

Bret Tarver 1960-2001

     I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the Tarver family and the Phoenix Fire Department. Bret Tarver, 40, an eight year veteran firefighter paramedic of Station 14 of the Phoenix, AZ Fire Department, lost his life while battling an afternoon blaze at a shopping center on March 14, 2001.

     Our brother Bret left a wife and three daughters. The United Phoenix FireFighters Local 439 has established a memorial fund for the family. Donations to the charitable fund for the Bret Tarver Family, account number 49709301, are being accepted by Bank One.

     For more information please visit Bret Tarver's Memorial Page and Bret Tarver's Photo Gallery.

3/16/01 Vote Results with Email Addresses

     I have consolidated the State Senators and State Representatives into an excel spreadsheet. You can download it here: voteresults6982.xls - 77Kb. It contains their district, party, last name first, first name first, email address, and whether or not they they voted for Amendment 4580/4555 and/or Bill 6982.

     I also took the liberty of sorting those lists and created an email list for senators and representatives who voted FOR the amendment only.

     Just copy and paste it into your email program and you can send a thank you to the pro-labor senators and representatives. You can download it here: ctrepsenemailaddresses.txt - 4Kb. I myself wrote an email to these senators and representatives and will be forwarding it to the mailing list subscribers. If your not on the mailing list, please join here.

3/15/01 New Kevin McDonald Photos

     Robin McDonald sent me three more photos for Kevin McDonald's Photo Gallery.

3/15/01 Local 1339 News and Congratulations to 'The Band'

     The Waterbury Coalition of Municipal Unions elected Jack Cronan, the president of the Waterbury Teachers Association, to be our representative on the state appointed board that will oversee Waterbury's finances. He will be one member of a seven member board. The other members of the board will be: a Governor appointed Waterbury taxpayer, a Governor appointed Waterbury business owner, a Governor appointed financial expert, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the state treasurer, and Mayor Giordano.

     Congratulations to the Connecticut Firefighter Pipes and Drums for being recognized by Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell with the Connecticut Treasurer's Award. I added 2 photos to the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums Gallery. I also added a new photo gallery for the bar that the band will be raffling off soon. Tom Cassin, a Waterbury FireFighter and Piper in the band, sent me these photos. More info and more photos will follow. Please visit Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums Bar Raffle Gallery.

3/14/01 Congratulations JP and Eva!

     I would like to express my congratulations to brother Waterbury FireFighter J.P. Dias and his lovely wife Eva. Joseph was born Monday March 13 at 9:37 PM. He was 7 pounds and 8 ounces. Mom and baby are doing well.


3/10/01 State Capitol Photos, Documents, and Roll Call Votes

     Unfortunately, despite our letters, emails, phone calls, and lobbying at the state capitol, the representatives and senators did not pass the amendment to remove the anti-labor provisions of the state take-over bill for Waterbury. They did however pass the bill with the anti-labor provisions included. Only time will tell how the mayor and the state financial oversight board negotiates with the collective bargaining units of Waterbury.

     I have added three photos to the WFD Press Gallery. The very night the representatives and senators were debating these amendments and bills, the WFD was battling a structure fire that went on until 1330 hours Thursday night. Please take a moment to view the photos of Local #1339 union representatives lobbying at the state capitol this week as well as the photos of the structure fire that displaced three families Thursday night on my shift.

     Here are links to Bill 6982, the Roll Call Votes for it, and Amendments 4580 & 4555, and the Roll Call Votes for it also.

3/6/01 State Takeover Bill

     Waterbury bargaining units were able to come up with $7-10 million dollars in concessions. Unfortunately, that was not enough, and that means the labor provision will probably be included in the state takeover bill. This is all the more reason why everyone should email, call, and send letters to state representatives and senators expressing their non-support of this anti-labor provision. Please visit the the page I have that created that has the email addresses of Waterbury's representatives and senators. It also has links to pages where ALL state representatives and state senators email addresses can be located. There is also some sample form letters that can be copied for your emails. Find the email addresses and links here.

3/4/01 Letters to Representatives & Senators

     I have received the files I was waiting for. Please visit Letters to Representatives and Senators. This page contains email addresses for Waterbury's State Representatives and Senators, along with some sample text to inform them of our union's plight. Please email and send hardcopy letters if possible.

3/4/01 Informational Meeting

     Unfortunately, the information released at the informational meeting was - there is no information. The state wants the unions to agree to the concessions before they will remove the labor provisions in the takeover bill. They are unable to give specific concessions as of yet. The meeting was more of an awareness meeting. Pete Carozza would like all union members to call and/or email their state representatives pleading our case as to removing the labor provisions, which basically would eliminate collective bargaining. I am waiting for an email containing these email addresses, phone numbers, and sample letters. As soon as I get it I will post the information.

3/1/01 Attention all WFD Members

     Attention all WFD Members. There will be an information meeting at the Union hall at the Elton Hotel on Saturday March 3rd at 12 Noon. There will be discussions about the city's financial crisis and union concessions. There will be only one meeting - so be there.

3/1/01 Photo Galleries and Upcoming Raffle

     Photo Galleries are jammin! There are 3 New galleries - Waterbury Fire Dept. Press, Waterbury Fire Dept. Apparatus (in progress), and Elac Aviles Waterbury Fire Dept. - CT. Check'em out.

     I also wanted to reiterate that reminder about the upcoming raffle. I will be posting information on a raffle for the Connecticut FireFighters Pipes and Drums. They are raffling off a bar - made out of the nose of a fire apparatus. Details will follow soon. For now, you can get a glimpse of what it will look like in the Connecticut FireFighters Pipes and Drums photo gallery.

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