Guest MINDSETTER™ Tom Kenney: Tentative Agreement

Sunday, September 18, 2016


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While many people who have an understanding of the repercussions that the reorganization of the Providence Fire Department caused regarding firefighter and public safety are rejoicing at the tentative agreement between the union, IAFF Local 799, and the mayor I would advise them to take it slow. The key word in the above sentence is tentative.

The wording of the agreement still needs to be worked out and if there is anything we’ve learned by watching and listening to Elorza over the course of his public life it is that what he states publicly is seldom what he does in practice. I’m afraid that he rushed the announcement of the tentative agreement for the media without even knowing whether the details are actually agreed upon. There are a lot of details that could be real sticking points for the membership of the union.

While I am not a member of Local 799 anymore due to my retirement, I would have at least one big problem with what has been reported so far. There has been nothing said about the management side of the department – headquarters. It is currently being run by three people who continue to have absolutely zero experience or knowledge of the fire service or running a fire department.

I would tie my vote for approval to the firing of Public Safety Commissioner/Fire Chief Steven Pare, Assistant Commissioner of Public Safety Michael O’Toole and PFD Investigative Chief Trinque. How can the membership of the union, and union leaders, be expected to sign an ongoing agreement while these three clowns remain in complete control of their (firefighters) department? I know that I wouldn’t.

Pare, on numerous occasions, spoke of “his” plan of reorganization of the PFD. He is the one who came up with the outrageous 3-platoon system that has never been used in any fire department in this country before. It was completely unmanageable from the very start but he stood by this plan. How can the mayor allow this person make further decisions regarding the PFD going forward? Even if there is a new Fire Chief brought on to work under Pare he (Pare) would still retain ultimate control. He, and his cohorts, needs to go!


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