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Firebirds Ask Feds To Investigate City’s Hiring Practices

December 26th, 2013 · 48 Comments · City Council, Firefighters, News and Events

The president of the Firebird Society of Bridgeport has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate concerns about the city’s hiring and promotional practices in the Fire Department he claims have impacted black and female candidates.

The Firebird Society represents the city’s black firefighters. The organization’s President Joel Christy claims that the city’s hiring practices have been changed “for the benefit of white suburban males and to the detriment of Blacks and women.”

City Attorney Mark Anastasi has issued a statement in response to the claims. “We do state categorically that the City of Bridgeport does not discriminate against blacks or women or any other groups or individuals in any of its hiring or promotional practices, including those for the Bridgeport Police and Fire Departments.”

Christy’s letter to Holder follows, in part:

We are asking for a Department of Justice investigation of the Bridgeport Fire Department, the Civil Service Department and the methods used by this new Director of Civil Service David Dunn and Fire Chief Brian Rooney in eliminating Blacks and Women from being hired and/or promoted in the Bridgeport Fire Department. We are also asking for this investigation because SAFER grant money was used to hire this fire recruit class.

As the current President of the Firebird Society of Bridgeport, CT., Inc., I am deeply concerned that the Bridgeport Fire Department had reverted to its days of discrimination against black & women candidates that aspire to be firefighters as well as those that aspire to be officers. The City of Bridgeport Fire has a long and infamous history of discrimination within the Fire Department going back to 1976 when a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Black community. Federal Judge Gilroy Daily found a pattern of discrimination by the City of Bridgeport against Blacks and found the city liable for its discriminating practices which resulted in 76 Blacks, Latinos and women being hired and approximately 5.2 million dollars for back pay and punitive damages. The lawsuit filed in 1976 lead to hiring, back pay, promotions and sweeping changes in the hiring and promotion of Blacks in the Bridgeport fire service. Over the last 25 years Blacks and Women had no problems getting hired or promoted within the Bridgeport Fire department until the hiring of David Dunn, as the new Director of the Civil Service and Brian Rooney as the new fire chief.

In 2005 past presidents Donald Day and Ronald Mackey went to City Councilman Charles Clemons with a proposal that would give City of Bridgeport residents an extra 10% on all entry level exams for city jobs. They found that the city resident on the Bridgeport Fire Department hiring list from 1998, who was 286 of hiring list and was given 10% on their score, would have moved that candidate from 286 to number 50 on the hiring list. They also found that of the top fifty on the hiring list 44 of them would have been Black, Latino and women city residents.

They found that if given preference points Blacks, Latinos and women from the City of Bridgeport would have a built in affirmative action program by virtue of the fact that they are Bridgeport residents and not many Bridgeport residents who were white were taking these exams. Councilman Clemons presented our preference point proposal to the Bridgeport City Council leaving out the built in affirmative action part and it was passed unanimously and implemented for the entry level exam administered in 2006. The results of this effort lead the City of Bridgeport to hire fifteen white males, fourteen Blacks, fifteen Latinos and four women as Bridgeport firefighters, which is representative of the racial make-up of Bridgeport, CT. We believe that because this effort was so successful in hiring Blacks and women for the fire service that the new Civil Service Director, David Dunn and the current Chief of the Bridgeport Department, Brian Rooney conspired to change the hiring process for the benefit of white suburban males and to the detriment of Blacks and women.

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48 Comments so far ↓

  • Bridgeporteur

    What are the specifics of how Rooney and Dunn rearranged the hiring practices? I agree it was a good idea to implement the ten-point credit for Bridgeport residents. I assume this was not limited to minorities. I would rather have my tax dollars hire my fellow Bridgeporters, any day of the week. That is the way it used to be. That is the way it should be.

  • BOE SPY

    Good for Dave and Brian. I want my tax dollars to be used to hire the BEST candidate for the job (period). If I call someone to get me or mine out of a burning building, keep us safe from criminals or save our lives, I want to know the best person the city could hire is coming to do that job. Race, creed, color or city of residence would not be important to me. That is my tax money. Hire the best applicant. Taking away a 10-point bonus from BPT residents that, coincidently but not necessarily, acted as an affirmative action instrument does not constitute discrimination. Giving the 10 points is discrimination. That would be a hiring practice based on something other than skills and ability.
    From: www .eeoc.gov/laws/practices/
    It is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

    Couldn’t ‘country of origin’ be extended to state or city of origin? If Ron, double D and the Firebirds want to do something, they should offer a test prep course. Get residents of BPT up to snuff. If you want to be a fireman you have to pass the test. You have to be the best and the brightest. Take the course and become that because BPT will not hire second stringers. Why would our citizens pay all these taxes and expect anything but the best?

    • Ron Mackey

      BOE SPY, once again you don’t know what you are talking about. But let’s talk about Dave and Brian, Dave has NEVER passed a civil service exam so why is he in that position to hire other people? Brian was “selected” as the fire chief even though the person who came in first place on the test scored 6 points higher than Brian and where Brian only has a high school diploma the person who placed number 1 has four bachelor degrees and two masters degrees within business and fire science. What happened to hiring the best person, BOE SPY?

      • BOE SPY

        That is bad but irrelevant to the topic at hand. If Dave were never required to pass a civil service exam, not passing one is not an issue. I do not know what the requirements to get Dave’s job are. As far as Brian goes, that is bad. It looks like not hiring the most qualified people is a problem in BPT. Continuing the habit will not improve things. It seems to be a ‘top-down’ problem in the entire city. You would never want to hire someone more qualified than you. It has to stop someplace and this is as good a place as any. If we had a stronger Civil Service Commission these things would not be such a problem.

        • Ron Mackey

          BOE SPY, I think we might find a little common ground. As for Rooney he is in charge of a budget for the fire department that is over $30,000,000, that’s right over thirty million dollars and Rooney only has a high school education. The City gave a nationwide test for fire chief, nationwide, and the best person for that position is high school graduate Brian Rooney.

          As for Dunn, the personnel director is a Civil Service tested position the mayor refuses to do an exam for. Dunn is responsible for giving all civil service exams for hiring and for promotion, he responsible to make sure the City Charter and all state and federal laws are followed in giving exams that are job-related and non-discriminatory. Dunn has been on the City’s payroll ever since John Mandanici was the mayor. Dunn is there because he knows where the “skeletons” are, not because he is the best person for the job.

    • Ron Mackey

      BOE SPY, FYI, Brian Rooney graduated from Notre Dame High School and placed second to:
      Daniel Andrus
      Fire Chief at City of Concord New Hampshire
      Greater Boston Area | Government Administration
      Current: Fire Chief at City of Concord New Hampshire Past: Deputy Fire Chief for Administration at Salt Lake City Fire Department, Battalion Chief-Operations Bureau at Salt Lake City Fire Department, Fire… Education: University of Utah, University of Utah, National Fire Academy, Western Oregon University, University of Utah, University of Utah

  • Bond Girl

    First of all, as an experienced manager, operations and HR professional I will state it has been my experience the BEST person for the job is not necessarily the person with the vast array of collegiate credentials. Time after time it has been proven to me one’s ability to write a thesis or take a test boasts their ability to write a paper and take a test.

    That being said, there are some professions, like law, medicine, accounting, etc, that rely almost solely on the education to launch the career. It does not mean those persons have the common sense to make a tough and effective management decision. It also does not mean those individuals possess the soft skills to effectively deal with people or delegate responsibilities in the most responsible manner and in a manner that serves the greater good.

    I don’t know Rooney, but I do know David and he is a decent, talented and reasonable man. He does possess the soft skills to do a personnel job in an effective way, and he does have the credentials. Not everyone who works for the city is a creep. The simple laws of probability dictate that fact.

    I do agree Bridgeport residents should be given heavier consideration than nonresidents, even to the point of mandating a move here as a condition of employment.

    Let’s have some positive and constructive input to start off the new year, shall we? Could we lighten up on the personal attacks? It just seems so pedestrian and really says infinitely more about the individuals who choose to participate in it than it does about the targets.

    • Ron Mackey

      Bond Girl, you said “I do know David and he is a decent, talented, and reasonable man. He does possess the soft skills to do a personnel job in an effective way, and he does have the credentials.” This not about that, the position David Dunn has is a TESTED position and he has never taken that test, so are we to look the other way because he has soft skills?

      • Bond Girl

        Do you have a degree?

        • Ron Mackey

          Bond Girl, I passed the exam for Pumper Engineer and got promoted to that position and I retired as a Lieutenant because I passed that exam. Now I fail to see the point of your question to me, better yet Dunn should have to take the exam that they must give and it must be a nationwide exam so Bridgeport can get the best director who will oversee exams for ALL Civil Service positions.

        • Ron Mackey

          Bond Girl, I have no problem in answering your question after you tell me why you want to know.

    • BOE SPY

      Bond Girl–you are correct, tests and papers do not guarantee quality people. This is only a way to quantify the skills of a new worker who many not have any résumé experience. Ron compares Dave and Brian with the new recruits but that is an unfair comparison. Both had résumé experience that would go farther than test scores. This is just an example, but let us assume Daniel Andrus did score higher than Rooney and has more education. They are not applying for entry-level jobs. Let us assume Daniel Andrus’ experience amounted to working in a national park fighting forest fires, while Rooney spent his entire career working in metro areas. We would want to consider this when selecting a fire chief for BPT. Rooney may have more experience fighting the kind of fires we would have in BPT. He may be more familiar with the equipment, the personnel or it is just fishy. I couldn’t say based on what I do not know.
      This is not the case for new hires. Most of the people who apply for firefighter have little more than a high school diploma and a test score. Some may be volunteer firefighters. If anything, someone with experience as a volunteer firefighter should be given extra points. They 1- have experience and 2- have shown a dedication to the job because they are willing to do it for free. If the Firebirds gave a test=prep class, I think it would show a lot that an applicant is willing to take time out of their lives to take the class on the CHANCE it may lead to employment as opposed to someone who just stopped by City Hall and filled out an application or filled it out online.
      Ron says he became ‘this and that’ because he passed a test. By the rules of the fire department he was the most qualified guy. Now, imagine Ron passes the test and the job goes to someone less qualified by Fire Dept. standards, because the city needs more blue-eyed pump engineers. How does that make any sense or make the people of BPT any safer? Would that be any different than the job going to someone because the city needs more employees who are related, by blood or by marriage, to Mark Anastasi?

      • Ron Mackey

        BOE SPY, now compare Rooney’s career to this:
        Daniel Andrus BS’84 MPA’88 MS’04 has been named the new Concord, N.H., fire chief. Andrus, 48, is a 28-year veteran of the Salt Lake City Fire Department. In his 17 years in field operations and 11 years as an administrator, he worked his way up from firefighter EMT to deputy chief of administrative services. In his most recent job, he oversaw the divisions of human resources, airport fire and medical operations, budget and finances, emergency medical services and safety, fire investigations, and emergency management. Previously, he has served in positions including district chief, fire marshal, and communications and emergency management director. Andrus’ father was a Salt Lake City firefighter for 30 years.

        • BOE SPY

          OK–I’ll take your word for it. Daniel would have been a better choice than Rooney. I do not know and you seem to know. So why would we want to continue these bad hiring practices??? Give the test, you get what you get, then the top scorers go on probation. The city has six months to assess you and you’re either hired or dismissed. If you are going to give extra points, give them for experience. If you have a degree in Fire ‘something or another’ this should show with a higher test score. That is the advantage of studying something. You are better at passing tests about it.

          • Ron Mackey

            BOE SPY, that’s not what happens. This is what testing is about, Industrial and organizational psychology (also known as I-O psychology or work psychology) is the scientific study of employees, workplaces and organizations. Industrial and organizational psychologists contribute to an organization’s success by improving the performance, satisfaction, safety, health and well-being of its employees.

          • BOE SPY

            Ron–You are saying the fireman’s test is a psychology test to see if you will be a happy worker? I took the police test and it was a test about police work and personal ethical standards.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I agree with some of what Joel Christy states. I believe Bridgeport residents should get a 10-point advantage. This takes away the suburban advantage of being able to serve in volunteer fire companies. It also makes up for educational differences.
    I differ with Mr. Christy on his statements concerning Judge Daly and his verdict, there were not 76 minorities hired, the number was significantly less.
    Written promotional tests were given and that was taken to court and thus the oral testing procedure came to be. Minorities claimed written exams put them at a disadvantage. Now I guess Mr. Christy believes oral exams are set up against minorities.
    Before anyone gets all warm and fuzzy about Judge Daly, let me state the following. The city caved in to Judge Daly and would not take this case to the supreme court. A few years ago New Haven took a similar case to the supreme court and won their case.
    Mr. Christy, you and I both know you need competent fire officers running the fire department. How do you get those officers if written tests and oral tests put minorities at a disadvantage?

  • Donald Day

    First let me set Andy Fardy straight, the City of Bridgeport did indeed fight the 1976 court case to the Supreme Court, which decided not to hear the case. Secondly, why do you people continue to say you want the best candidate hired when Rooney or Dunn didn’t have to follow the same dictates you now espouse? Neither was the best candidate for the current position they hold. The fact is blacks have routinely taken 30% or more of every tested position for promotions in the last 30 years prior to David Dunn being hired as Civil Service Director. One would believe blacks have gotten a lot dumber under Dunn, whites have gotten a lot smarter under Dunn or the changes that were implemented under him are discriminatory Now we know the first two are asinine and that leaves only the changes implemented by Dunn as the reason for blacks not doing well on promotional exams. Mind you now, in 2002 Ron Mackey and I met with Deputy Comm. Doug White of the FDNY and told him the same thing about New York city’s hiring process and just nine short years later a federal judge said the same thing we did, the FDNY used discriminatory hiring practices. Bond Girl, you know a different David Dunn than I do. The one I have known for about 20 years is a conceited, self-important, arrogant, backstabbing SOB.

    Andy, do you remember the Lieutenant’s exam from 1986 I believe, when on the oral they asked the same questions to everyone over the course of four days and the individuals whose last names ended in the letters M through Z did inherently better than the first two groups, well they are doing the same shit now under Dunn. Did you know Bridgeport firefighters helped write the questions for the oral exam for new hires and then sat on the oral board to ask the new hires those questions? Is there any wonder a white chief’s son came out number 1 and a white lieutenant’s son came out number three? I know, that’s just a coincidence. If this is the case, are you really getting the best candidate or are you getting the best candidate who could remember the questions and answers? There is no way Bridgeport firefighters should have been used in either part of the hiring process.

    The fact is David Dunn lacks the knowledge, experience and expertise to be the head of civil service. He is completely over his head when it comes to hiring. I am sure the Justice Department will see the civil service under his leadership dumbed down the process to save money on hiring and promotional exams. He changed the relative weights of the exams and the testing companies of the promotional and hiring exams to people who have never given either kind of exam in a city with the same demographics as Bridgeport or who have proven they could administer an exam that doesn’t have an adverse or disparate impact on blacks or women. What was the need to change the testing companies from those companies that have demonstrated they could administer an exam that meets the needs of the department, the community and the people of Bridgeport? My belief is it was changed to favor one group, white males over blacks and women. I am sure once the Department of Justice looks over the two and half pages of specific charges that were included, they will come to the same conclusion we did, the rules were changed to favor white males. There is no doubt in my mind the Justice Department will come to the same conclusions as the Firebird Society and like the 1976 case the residents of Bridgeport will have to pick up the tab for the ignorance of a few. All the Firebird Society ever wanted was a fair process for hiring and promotions and we had that for 30 years prior to Dunn being put into the position of civil service director. If we don’t learn from the past we are destined to repeat it!

    • Bond Girl

      Well Mr. Day, I don’t have a personal problem with Dunn and it seems you do. That fact In and of itself would affect your opinion of him.

      I stand by my assertion tests and degrees do not necessarily dictate the best person for a job, taking into consideration of course the very relevant requisite skills and ethics knowledge that are put forth in an exam as important as fire fighter, police or any front-line public-safety arena.

      As far as Affirmative Action is concerned, I do agree Bridgeport could stand a major overhaul. I just don’t happen to feel Dunn’s position is necessarily one that should be contingent upon a civil service exam. As far as Rooney goes, what is the problem with someone working their way up with only a high school diploma? There are a number of posters on this fine blogging venue who have.

      • Ron Mackey

        Bond Girl, so how would you hire 400 police and 350 firefighters without a test? As for Rooney, the City gave a test for fire chief and it was a “nation”wide test. Now if Rooney is the best in the nation (even though he didn’t place number one on the exam), what does that tell you about Bridgeport?

        • Bond Girl

          No, Mr. Mackey. It appears a portion of the second paragraph of my post eluded you. The part that says, there are very relevant requisite skills that need to be on exams for all fire, police and all front-line public safety positions.

        • Bond Girl

          Please, trust me when I tell you I am no stranger to public safety and the exams required therewith. I have now pretty much said all I am going to say, because I am not looking for an argument. I really do have more positive things I need to spend my time on.

      • Donald Day

        Bond Girl, I think you are under a gross misconception, it is never personal with me, it’s only about business. My whole career has been about creating the most diverse fire department in the country, at least one that represents the demographics of Bridgeport.

        The adjectives I used to describe Dunn are the qualities I have experienced dealing with Dunn over the last 20 years while employed here in Bridgeport in numerous positions and while employed in Stratford.
        I’m sure he posses the qualities you alluded to in your posts, it’s just I never experienced him in that manner. Never personal, always business.

    • BOE SPY

      You questioned why the number of tested positions taken by blacks has dropped and imply the reasons are racially motivated. What did the number of tested positions that went to minorities drop to? The answer could be the number of black applicants has dropped. If 30% of the test takers were minority you would expect the number of test passers would be 30% minority. Another answer could be for the past 30 years black applicants had an unfair advantage. Like being given a 10-point bonus. Now, the changes to the hiring practices have evened the playing field. I would want to know what the racial makeup of the qualified test takers was for the last 30 years. By ‘qualified’ I mean able to actually get the job, i.e. no felonies, +18 YO, US citizen, high school diploma, etc. It is fair to guess a number of people from surrounding towns that have volunteer FDs would come to take the BPT test when it becomes available.
      As for why those whose last names ENDED in the letters M through Z did poorly on the test? I think you meant to say BEGAN but what is your point? Probably two different people gave the oral exam and part of the exam could be graded subjectively One guy graded harsher than the other. I do not see how the first or last letter of a person’s last name could be indicative of race. This is a problem with oral exams (as Andy pointed out). Written exams can be assigned a number that will match up with the test taker ONLY after the test has been graded, giving no name, age, sex or race to associate with the written exam. Multiple-choice exams leave no room for subjective grading but an essay portion would.
      The sons of a chief and lieutenant who were hired look odd but is also explainable. What kid does not want to be a fireman at some point? If firefighting is a family business you would expect a son to be knowledgeable in what his father does. I would expect the son got a fire truck for Christmas, listened to his parents talk about work, went to see his dad’s job, was instructed in firefighting by the dad, etc. How many other firemen have sons or fathers that are also firemen? If it were me, I would have encouraged my son to work in a different city than I to avoid this insinuation but how many other cities have a paid fire service? If they lived nearby and the boy wanted to be a fireman, then BPT may have been one of only a few choices.
      Either way this court challenge is going to cost BPT. Even if the process is fair BPT will have to lay out big bucks to find out. Much like the recent BOE superintendent challenge. It is a kind of extortion. Change the testing procedures or pay the price. Personally, if the City is found to be innocent I think the people bringing the suit should be responsible for the cost.

      • Ron Mackey

        BOE SPY, Rooney and Dunn are perfect examples of affirmative action for white males.

        You said, “As for why those whose last names ENDED in the letters M through Z did poorly on the test?” Well let’s say that those whose last name starts with “R” like Rooney, this group takes the exam on the fourth day. Now you have those with last names starting with the letter “C” and they take the exam on the first day. Now for four days the same questions are being given but let’s say someone like Rooney has a good friend who took the exam on the first day and let’s say these two people are at the firehouse behind closed doors for hours. That’s one of the ways it was done. The test results showed larger numbers of those whose last names started with letters “P” to “Z” scored higher than those from “A” to “O.”

        BOE SPY, you said earlier, “I would pick the smart officer.” Who is to determine who is smart and whose standard are you using?

        • BOE SPY

          Ron–That is not racism. That is just cheating and I think it is a felony. The problem would be Rooney’s friend is an idiot. I take the test. Then give the questions to my friend who is going to take the test. My friend will do better than I did. Why would that be good for me? I would give my friend the wrong questions to ensure at least one person will do worse than me. I wouldn’t want anyone to do better than I did.
          I would think the smarter person would do better on the test. He was either born knowing the material, figured the answer out from the context of the question or learned it and was able to retain and recall it. Of course he could just be lucky.
          This is all moot. We are trying to talk about the new firefighter hiring test. Not Rooney’s promotion test(s).

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Donald, you are not setting me straight, we did NOT go to the supreme court in any way shape or form.
    I have never liked oral exams as I feel they are more of a beauty contest than a test of competency. The examiner can form an opinion before the first question is asked. Too many games can be played with oral rankings. Example on the lieutenant’s exams that were part oral and part written, I had the highest oral score. The captain’s exam was 100% oral and I failed while guys way below me on the PT test finished in the top 13 for captain.
    If as you say Bpt firefighters created the exam questions then gave these tests, that is 100% wrong and I can see the problems. My question to you is why has it taken so long for this information to come out?

    • Ron Mackey

      Andrew C Fardy, the case did go to the United States Supreme Court and they agreed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact the Connecticut Post article, which was on the front page, is framed at the Firebird Society’s office.

  • Mojo

    *** From the “outside looking in;” not a bad job from a guy who only has a high school diploma and has survived two mayors, no? Rumors say Rooney is a firefighter who worked his way to the top from the bottom, 40 years? Also, he’s “not” a make up an excuse type of guy, he demands loyalty and accountability while on the job, which many of the “set in their do-nothing ways” firemen do not like! Which seemed to be apparent after that surprise vehicle GPS debacle a few years back the fire dept. had with some now ex-employees! And along with being a hard-nosed type of chief, he seems to not be too well liked by “some” minority firemen who felt a firefighter of color or from outside the dept should have been picked Chief; along with many other reasons depending on who and what representing workers group you’re talking with. Seems like a tough job regardless of who, what, where, when and why, no? ***

    • Ron Mackey

      Mojo, you said, “he seems to not be too well liked by “some” minority firemen who felt a firefighter of color or from outside the dept. should have been picked Chief.” I don’t know where you got that from. I was President of the Firebird Society for ten years and I never made that statement. I find it amazing Bridgeport does a national search for a fire chief and the best they can do is Rooney; hey, pay me now or pay me later and that is what the City is doing with the fire death of two firefighters and the settlements the City is paying to other families from fire deaths.

  • Ron Mackey

    Mojo, are you aware more civilians have died in fires and more firefighters have died in fires in Bridgeport than under any other fire chief in Bridgeport, and you think that’s a good job?

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Ron, you may not like Rooney but your statement more civilians and firefighters have died in Bridgeport than any other fire chief is a bald-faced lie. Ron, you are full of shit on this one. In my 23 years on the job under two different chiefs eight firefighters have died in the line of duty. I can’t even count the number of civilians who have died while I was on the job.

    • Mojo

      *** Well I don’t see anything in my prior posted blogs where I’ve stated any “particular person” or “organized group” made any statements pro or con about Rooney; just Rooney seemed to not be well-liked by “some” of the minority firemen during the time of the national search for the new Fire Chief of Bpt! And “some” felt it was time for a minority pick from in-house or from the outside. And I don’t buy the statement about more civilian and firefighter deaths on Chief Rooney’s watch than any other fire chief in Bpt’s history! Being a Fire Chief in any town sounds like a big responsibility that can sometimes appear to be a thankless job, where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with the swinging pendulum of life or death possibly somewhere waiting in the next emergency fire alarm! ***

      • Ron Mackey

        Mojo, there you go again, you said, “the national search for the new Fire Chief of Bpt! And “some” felt it was time for a minority pick from in-house or from the outside,” and I’m telling you again as President of the Firebird Society for 10 years I never made that statement nor has the organization at any time.

  • Donald Day

    Fardy, you asked “My question to you is why has it taken so long for this information to come out?” It’s my understanding this has been a question the Firebird Society has posed to the Mayor months ago.

    Fardy, you should know a written exam can’t measure the qualities it takes to be a good firefighter or a good officer. All a written exam measures is an individual’s ability to remember things a person has read. An oral measures the real qualities it takes to be an officer because it can put one into real-life situations to see how an individual would handle that situation. Fardy, would you want your kid trapped on the second floor of a house fire and the person who came to save them is a book-smart officer, but you know he doesn’t like to go into fires? Did you know officers like that? Sure you did!

    Our hope is the Justice Department comes in and ask questions of all those involved, under the threat of perjury, what they know, what they did and who they talked to. That they look into what was spent on promotional and hiring exams prior to Dunn being put into his current position, were the testing companies’ exams used prior to Dunn better suited because of results, a more diverse department than these new companies and was money the sole factor for changing the hiring, promotional process that was used in the past and finally why was it necessary to change from a process that ensured a more diverse department like the City of Bridgeport.

    When that is done I can assure you something very ugly will rear its head.

    • BOE SPY

      You could have a ‘book dumb’ officer who is afraid to go into a fire. Or even worse, a ‘book dumb’ officer who can’t remember or understand his training and runs into a fire trapping himself with the victim endangering yet another officer to save both people. Regardless, I would pick the smart officer. Somehow, I find you are better off when you are not surrounded by idiots.

      • Ron Mackey

        BOE SPY, that’s why you have training, to develop the recruits to perform the job that is required to be a firefighter. Do you find it strange no white females were hired?

  • Ron Mackey

    Here is one reason why Brian Rooney should NOT still be the fire chief. This is from the Connecticut Post:

    “Bridgeport cited for serious safety violations in death of two firefighters: city contesting”

    Michael P. Mayko and Tim Loh, Staff Writers
    Published 11:19 pm, Friday, February 11, 2011

    BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport Fire Department has been charged with five serious state safety violations in the July 24 blaze that killed two firefighters.

    The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health found the department did not perform tests on the firefighters’ breathing gas tanks, failed to conduct medical evaluations and ensure air masks fit properly, did not ensure firefighters wore breathing equipment inside the burning building and failed to follow “mayday” rescue procedures.

    • BOE SPY

      Ron–the question at hand has nothing to do with Rooney. Even if Rooney should be there it does not mean we should hire more people who shouldn’t be there. Maybe the violations are a result of hiring people who could not pass a written exam because they could not remember what they have read. Not being able to follow written instructions could have lead to all these violations.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Ron, there are many others in the department where the blame belongs for any shortcomings. Here is a potential list;
    1. Supt of Maintenance on testing of air pack tanks.
    2. What medical evaluations?
    3. Did not wear airmasks inside the burning building. That falls on the individual FF.
    I think you and Day are upset with Rooney because you don’t have the access to him like you did with the previous chief.

    • Ron Mackey

      Andrew C Fardy, ultimately the fire chief is responsible, in fact the maintenance testing of air pack tanks, the medical evaluations of each firefighter and the “mayday” rescue procedures, all those reports come directly to Chief Rooney, he signs off on them and they are forward to the state. Just like the failure of the snow removable last year by Public Works, it was Mayor Finch’s responsible to have those streets cleared. As for Donald Day and myself meeting with Rooney, we have no need to meet him, the current Firebird Society President can do that. Andy, I think it would have been wise for Rooney to sit down and listen to something that could cost the City money from a federal lawsuit but instead the request was made to the Justice Department to investigate. A department head should want to solve issues that involve their employees.

  • Local Eyes

    I hope U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder rejects the Firebirds’ pitiful plea, disguised as a request.

    • Ron Mackey

      Local Eyes, your bias is really showing, black firefighters are making a request to have the Justice Department review the testing and hiring process and you want to deny them their rights. Tell me Local Eyes, how many white females have been hired from the recent firefighter exam?

  • Ron Mackey

    Local Eyes, tell me, why would you want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reject the Firebirds’ request? Do you know what the request is?

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Jepsen for Attorney General