Tag Archives: Worcester Fire Department

Yay, Worcester Fire Department!

The Department of Homeland Security announced today that the Worcester Fire Department has been awarded $2.7 million in a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant.
“Maintaining strong public safety staffing levels for our police and fire departments has been a priority of our city.  This grant will be used to partially fund the new class of thirty firefighters that will be going through the academy soon,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty.  “These are the men and women who keep us safe and we need each and every one of them.”
The 2.7 million dollars over two years will fund seventeen of the thirty new firefighters whose positions were appropriated in the latest budget.  The new class of firefighters was a stated priority of Mayor Petty and was duly passed by the City Council during budget deliberations in June.
“This fire grant is terrific news for Worcester,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said. “This federal funding recognizes the outstanding work of Mayor Petty, Chief Gardell, and the entire Worcester Fire Department, and I am very glad it will help keep hardworking firefighters on the job protecting our communities.” 
Congressman James McGovern said, “With this grant, the Worcester Fire Department will have the resources they need to be able to hire additional firefighters and continue to protect our families and neighborhoods. I am grateful to FEMA for making this investment in our community and to all of our Worcester firefighters and their families for the sacrifices they make to help keep all of us safe.”
“Worcester firefighters provide their community with world-class protection 24 hours a day, every day. This grant will help us maintain a full complement of firefighters and allow the Worcester Fire Department to uphold those high standards,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “I want to thank our federal legislators for their consistent advocacy and FEMA for these vital funds that will help keep Worcester safe.”
The purpose of the grant is to allow cities and towns to preserve the number of firefighters in department ranks, and to accordingly enhance both response time and preparedness.
“This is great for the Worcester Fire Department.  With the recent retirements we’ve seen the new class of firefighters will help us to maintain our current staffing levels for the next two years,” said Fire Chief Geoffrey Gardell.
The Worcester Fire Department and Bridgewater Fire Department both received SAFER grants in this round of funding; Bridgewater received 1.6 million dollars.  The grant is awarded by the Department of Homeland Security through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

News you can use! Medals for a Worcester firefighter and more ….

Congressman Jim McGovern to present retired Worcester firefighter FRANK RAFFA, a VIETNAM WAR VETERAN, with service medals …

Tomorrow, Friday, March 13 …

The following event is open to the public:

What:   U.S. Representative Jim McGovern to Present Local Vietnam Veteran Frank Raffa with Service Medals

Friday, March 13

11 am – 12 pm

12 East Worcester Street, Suite 1, Worcester

McGovern’s office worked with the U.S. Army to secure the medals for Raffa, a 65-year-old Army veteran. Raffa lives in Worcester.



Upcoming Webinar and New Indicators

Wednesday, March 18

1 p.m.

Leaders at every level recognize that a child’s zip code should not determine their well-being, but how can policymakers and practitioners ensure all children grow up in healthy neighborhoods?

The Child Opportunity Index, a new tool from diversitydatakids.org and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, provides valuable data to inform strategies and actions to build healthy communities for all.

Join our webinar to learn about this tool and how public health and community development leaders are using it in cross-sector efforts to advance equity and opportunity.

Speakers include:

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy; Policy Director, diversitydatakids.org, Brandeis University

Colby Dailey, Managing Director, Build Healthy Places Network

Renee D. Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center and Founding Director, Vital Village Community Engagement Network

Sarah Treuhaft, Deputy Director, PolicyLink (moderator)

Ask your questions about the index in advance by tweeting them to @PolicyLink using the #equitydata hashtag, and engage with webinar panelists and attendees including @diversitydatakids, @BHPNetwork, and @KirwanInstitute during the webinar using the same hashtag.

Visit the National Equity Atlas for Four New Indicators

We have been busy adding new indicators to the National Equity Atlas that answer these questions:

What share of workers earned at least $15/hour (segmented by race/ethnicity, gender, and education)?

Which regions and states have the greatest and least amount of income inequality?

How racially diverse is your community?

To what extent are immigrants driving your community’s population growth?
Explore these indicators to understand the dynamics of demographic change, income inequality, and wages in your community and use this data to take action to build an equitable economy.

website: www.mass.gov/dph

blog: http://publichealth.blog.state.ma.us

The Feb. 5 Worcester NAACP meeting: WPD, WFD and diversity

By Gordon T. Davis

Each Worcester NAACP meeting I go to seems to have a ton of information and some surprises.

The meeting on February 5, 2015, was no different.

There was a report by the Worcester NAACP housing committee coordinator of a tenants union called the Fruit-Sever Tenants Union which is in a legal battle with a local landlord operating under HUD rules.

Some of the Tenants Union’s members have been threatened with arrest by the Worcester Police, should they enter the building and meet with the tenants who are also members.

Reportedly, this is against HUD rules for HUD associated buildings. The issue is now being worked on by Congressman Jim McGovern who is reported to be clarifying the rules with the Worcester Police.

At least one member of the NAACP expressed criticism of the threats of arrest made by the Worcester Police.

Worcester Police Officers Spencer Tatum and Miguel Lopez, both in the WPD gang unit, gave a presentation of the City’s efforts to diversify the Worcester Police Department.

Officer Lopez is also the Affirmative Action Officer for the Worcester Police Department. Although that position has no job description, he does outreach to the different communities about the Civil Service Examination that applicants for the Police Department must pass.

The Civil Service Exam is given every two and it is used by all of the cities and towns’ police departments to choose candidates. An exam taker must be between 21 and 32 years of age in order for the Worcester Police Department to consider the exam taker for a police officer position. The City’s thinking is that it wants about 32 years of service from each police officer.

There is a form of forced retirement at age sixty-five. It is not clear to me that this practice does not violate anti-age discrimination statutes.  People under 40 are not protected by the anti-age discrimination statutes.

The Worcester Police Department is under a consent decree agreed to in 1980s that require a Worcester police force of 19.9 percent Black and Latino officers.

The Asian population is not included in the consent decree nor are women.

Presently, there are no Asian women on the Worcester Police Department.

During the last Civil Service exam seven Asian women passed the exam, but they were quickly hired by police departments in other Massachusetts divisions.

There are today two Black women police officers in Worcester; both of whom are near retirement.

Veterans passing the Civil Service Exam are by law chosen before other candidates. The military police who served in Guantanamo and who have taken the Civil Service exam will likely be hired first. It is not known how many military veteran exam takers will be White, Black, or Latino. Almost all Worcester Police officer applicants have BA degrees, although this is not a requirement.

The fee for taking the exam is $100.

One member of the NAACP said that he was interested in taking the exam, but he was unemployed. He asked if there were some funds available for test takers like him. Police Officer Lopez said there was a community group that paid for “minorities” who showed need to get money for the fee.

The Worcester Fire Department is also under a similar diversity consent decree as the Worcester Police Department.

When, surprisingly, the Worcester Fire Department reached its goal of 19.9 percent Black and Latino firefighters, it petitioned the courts to be relieved of the consent decree.

Subsequently, the percentage of Black and Latino firefighters in the Worcester Fire Department has steadily fallen.

It was suggested that the “minority communities” again sue the City of Worcester to have a new consent decree for the Worcester Fire Department.

The WPD and WFD at Worcester NAACP meeting this Thursday!

The Worcester NAACP’s membership/community meeting has been rescheduled for this Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 pm.

In the upstairs Board Room of the YWCA, Salem Square.

Officer Miguel Lopez, Affirmative Action Officer and Young Program Director for the Worcester Police Department, and Harold Rodriguez from the Worcester Fire Department will be sharing information regarding the upcoming civil service examination.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about a career in law enforcement or fire safety, please come to the meeting and get the information you need to make the first step.

Important deadlines to remember are:

Application Deadline:  March 13, 2015

Examination Date:  April 25, 2015

Please join us, meet the 2015 leadership team of the Worcester NAACP, and let us know what issues we should be addressing in Worcester.

Worcester Fire Chief Gerard Dio appointed to FEMA National Advisory Council‏

Today, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate appointed twelve new members and reappointed two current members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC).

The NAC is an advisory committee established by federal law to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal emergency management activities.  Members represent the whole community and include representatives from a wide array of backgrounds and communities involved or affected by the emergency management profession.  The NAC consists of up to 35 members.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

“FEMA is just one part of our nation’s emergency management team,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. “The National Advisory Council serves a vital role in guiding our plans and strategies by ensuring we remain informed by diverse viewpoints and experiences from every sector of society. I value the expertise and input of each of these members, and appreciate their dedication and commitment to ensuring effective emergency management.”

The NAC provides recommendations to the FEMA Administrator on a variety of issues within emergency management.  For example, the NAC recently made recommendations regarding regional response and recovery capabilities as well as regarding mutual aid agreements among different units of government.

FEMA received over 200 applications for the open positions. All applicants were carefully considered through an intensive review process, which included an interagency membership recommendation panel of senior government officials.  Most appointments are for three-year terms.
The twelve new NAC members include:

Emergency Management
Samantha Phillips, Director of Emergency Management, City of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Non-Elected Local Government Officials
W. Scott Field, Director, Denver Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (Denver, Colo.)

Standards Setting and Accrediting
Fritz Wilson, Executive Director, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (Cumming, Ga.)

Health Scientists
Gerald Parker, Jr., Vice President of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Texas A&M Health Science Center (Bryan, Texas)

Christopher Littlewood, Project Coordinator, Center for Public Safety Innovation, St. Petersburg College (Seminole, Fla)

Non-Elected Tribal Government Officials
Jeffrey Hansen, Emergency Manager, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (Durant, Okla.)

Elected Tribal Government Officials
James Akerelrea, Tribal Council Member, Scammon Bay Traditional Council and Store Manager, Scammon Bay Askinuk Store (Scammon Bay, Alaska)

Emergency Response Providers
Gerard Dio, Fire Chief, City of Worcester (Worcester, Mass.)

Christopher Smith, Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor and Emergency Management Director, State of Nevada (Sparks, Nev.)

Infrastructure Protection
Daniel Zarrilli, Director of Resiliency and Acting Director for Long-term planning and sustainability, Office of the Mayor, City of New York (New York, N.Y.)

Administrator Selection
Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Senior Director for U.S Emergencies, Save the Children (Westport, Conn.)

Administrator Selection
Meloyde Batten-Mickens, Executive Director of, Facilities, Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.)
The two reappointed members include:

Administrator Selections
Lee Feldman, City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Administrator Selection
Felix (Phil) Zarlengo, Chairman, AARP Board of Directors (Jamestown, R.I.)
In addition, Jerry Demings, Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Orlando, Fla.) was appointed on July 1, 2014 to fill a vacancy in the Elected Local Government Officials position.

Additional information on the National Advisory Council, including a full list of members, is available at www.fema.gov/national-advisory-council

Telegram and Gazette “hack,” Dianne Williamson, needs to get HER facts straight!

By Rosalie Tirella

To Dianne Williamson, nasty, vindictive, mean, phony hack:

Dear Dianne, you wrote a column about me. Here’s where YOU screwed up:

* You say I plagiarized your column about Worcester Fire Department Frank DiLiddo being in a porn flick. Dianne, I got the “news” from you – the fact that a City of Worcester employee – a firefighter (a person the community usually holds to far higher standards than – say, a T & G columnist –  was in a porn movie. Then I opined about that FACT – the fact that a city firefighter was in a movie which you described quite graphically. You wrote about: DeLiddo with his trousers down, sitting in a chair, and a gal blowing him, giving readers a “blow by blow” description of the sex act.

I wrote how I felt about the movie. That is not stealing your stuff. This is plagiarism: Remember when your colleague, Telegram and Gazette sports writer/reporter Ken Powers, copied several paragraphs from a sports story in another publication and then used his handy dandy computer mouse to paste the paragraphs the other writer wrote INTO his story? That’s plagiarism! Powers made it look like he was the real author of those paragraphs. The Telegram and Gazette fired him. This, my dear, is plagiarism. Continue reading Telegram and Gazette “hack,” Dianne Williamson, needs to get HER facts straight!

On Worcester Fire Dept. District Chief Frank DiLiddo

editor’s note: Mr. Bailey, the T & G did run the news in a local column.

By Joseph Bailey

I must say I’m appalled about what I am reading. I cannot believe that the City of Worcester would allow a man such as this to be working for the city [Worcester Fire Dept. District Chief Frank DiLiddo].

I agree with Rosalie Tirella [see post below] that he should be put on leave by the city and then be removed from his job. I can believe the city covering this up. As we all know, government takes care of its own. Even though [DeLiddo] says he did [make the porn movie] when he was “young” doesn’t excuse this behavior. Anyone else in the private sector would have been removed from their duties immediately.
I guess when you’re a chief on the Worcester Fire Department you must be exempt from this type of action.
I feel that once again there is a double standard. Every day poeple would be admonished and removed from their position. I suppose it took this long for someone to find this out and furthermore almost seem to have it swept under the carpet. I cannot figure out why the city lets this person work with the public anymore. I feel that Worcester should step up and remove this person  from his position. The Worcester FD recently has had a lot of bad elements involved with their department. From fire fighters being picked up for drunk driving to fights breaking out  between the rank and file and certain line officers. Let’s not bring up the previous charges against certain former members for various criminal activities.
In conclusion, I feel that once again it takes a true independent voice in this city [InCity Times] to let the public know what really goes on. I am truly upset with the other media outlets …  . It feels like all parties involved, the City of Worcester, the primary television stations in Boston and Worcester for not getting involved and carrying this story. I don’t feel comfortable knowing that we have essentially a perverted individual involved with the public.
Just to inform you: I have forwarded a copy of the article and my letter to the other newspapers … . Let’s see what they don’t do about this now.