Friday, November 30, 2007

SFD Volunteer Retirement Plan (LOSAP)

Anonymous said...
Did you know that volunteer fireman once they reach 60 years old receive over $600.00 a month retirement check thru the city of Salisbury………..

The above is from the comment section on Albero’s recent post concerning the new fire station in Salisbury. Obviously the commenter is just as clueless as Albero. There is a volunteer “retirement” plan but the $600 figure is a little overstated.

The City of Salisbury funds the plan. It is not unreasonable for the City to do this, as Volunteers are just that --- Volunteers. This program, known as LOSAP, came into fruition in the late 1980’s and was designed to be a tool for retention and recruitment for the volunteer force of the fire department.

LOSAP = Length of Service Awards Program. It basically works like this. In order to be vested in the program the individual must volunteer for at least 5 years. Once vested the member will receive $20 a month for each year served, with a 25 year maximum. The math is easy. A member serving 10 years will receive $200.00 a month for their service. Serve 15 years, $300.00 a month. Once again this maxes out at 25 years for a maximum amount of $500.00 a month.

However there are a few “buts” to consider. First there is criteria that must be met on an annual basis. The member must attend a certain amount of training, must attend a certain percentage of corporate meetings, must maintain a percentage for alarm response etc, etc, etc.
The member’s performance in all these areas is reviewed annually. Members not making the grade are excluded from the plan for that year. In other words, it is not possible to sign up as a volunteer, do nothing for 25 years, and pull a retirement check from the city.

Another point to consider is a member cannot collect any of these funds until he/she reaches age 60. Therefore a member joining at age 20, making good each year on his/her obligation can “retire” at age 45. However the member still must wait another 15 years before drawing the pension. It is doubtful a member would cease to be a member at age 45. Anyone committing 25 years to the volunteer service would indeed be passionate enough about the obligation to continue to serve, and many do. It is very possible members would retire with much more than 25 years service and still only be eligible for the maximum allowed. My sources inform me there are currently only 3 members receiving the maximum benefit. This is a small price to pay for the savings these men and women have afforded the City for so many years of service for free.

I also understand, but as of yet have not verified, that othe local governments in the area also provide a similar plan for their volunteers.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SFD Catering Service?

Albero is on a rant again about the new firehouse in Salisbury. As usual his lack of knowledge about the Department is blatantly evident. For some reason he believes there should have been a banquet hall or some similar facility included in the project. If such a facility had been included I wonder how much additional cost would be added and how much louder he would squeal.

The answer is quite simple. The fire station is city building and the city does not rent out its facilities for such occasions. Who does Albero expect to conduct such services? The crews on duty? Wouldn’t you like to hear that 911 call? “Sorry sir but I will have to send an engine from across town for this call, the duty crew at Station 16 have just started the main course for the Smith wedding party.”

Yes, other county departments have facilities for such events but that is part of their fundraising to keep the department going. The city of Salisbury is not in the business of catering, nor is the volunteer corporations in the city. To be truthful, I question the legality of the city engaging in such activities as this would or should serve as a profit-making venture, and that is not a function of a municipality.

Once again shallow thoughts and lack of research on Albero’s part has brought to the reasonable mind a tortuous opinion of a non-existent ideal.

The issue is far more complex than Albero would have you believe. But than again, complexity and the brain of Albero is about as compatible as #6 bunker fuel and H2O. It just ain’t gonna blend.

New BLOG on the Block

There's a new BLOG in the blogoshpere and I think it's worth a look. Titled "Off the Cuff" this BLOGER speaks frankly about issues at hand. No hate, no name calling and no profanity. Just simple facts as they appear.

I have posted a link on my link list or you can go to and have look for yourself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Civil War Trivia

I recieved this from a friend. I expanded on it slightly

How many US Presidents do you know of were general officers in the Civil War?

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President

At the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to command an unruly volunteer regiment. Grant whipped it into shape and by September 1861 he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers. He sought to win control of the Mississippi Valley. In February 1862 he took Fort Henry and attacked Fort Donelson. President Lincoln promoted Grant to major general of volunteers. Grant maneuvered and fought skillfully to win Vicksburg, the key city on the Mississippi, and thus cut the Confederacy in two. Lincoln appointed him General-in-Chief in March 1864. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Finally, on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered

Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President.

He fought in the Civil War, was wounded in action, and rose to the rank of brevet major general. While he was still in the Army, Cincinnati Republicans ran him for the House of Representatives. He accepted the nomination, but would not campaign, explaining, "an officer fit for duty who at this crisis would abandon his post to electioneer... ought to be scalped."

James A. Garfield, 20th President

In 1862, when Union military victories had been few, he successfully led a brigade at Middle Creek, Kentucky, against Confederate troops. At 31, Garfield became a brigadier general, two years later a major general of volunteers. Meanwhile, in 1862, Ohioans elected him to Congress. President Lincoln persuaded him to resign his commission: It was easier to find major generals than to obtain effective Republicans for Congress. Garfield repeatedly won re-election for 18 years, and became the leading Republican in the House.

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President

Harrison was a brigadier general fighting in the Atlanta campaign

William McKinley, 25th President

McKinley, while serving honorably did not achieve the rank of General. However he was a major during the civil war in the guard. Enlisting as a private in the Union Army, he was mustered out at the end of the war as a brevet major of volunteers.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fairmount Turkey Shoot

Fairmont Fire Company Held their annual turkey shoot today. We have attended this event for 5 years now. Todays weather was great, cool but with very little wind.
The Fairmont Fire Company is the newest company in Somerset County and this annual turkey shoot is one of their fundraisers. As usual there was a good crowd and plenty of shooters. Many of the prizes this year were power tools such as cordless drills, a compound miter saw, drill bits and driver sets, gift cards and more. Yours truly won a gift card from Sears, a Smith Island cake and the top prize of the day, a brand new Mossberg model 835 pump action shotgun.
This is the second year in a row I won the gun.

Last year it was a muzzle loading rifle with accessories. I immediately donated it right back to the fire company and let them sell another round on it. I got a tax break and they earned a few extra $$.
This time I think I'll hold on to the gun for a while.

Over on the right in the photos you can see one of the shooters taking a bead on his target while in the background others have finished and are returning their guns to the waiting area.

The second photo shows memebers of FFC waiting to judge targets while others are selling shots on upcoming rounds. The shells for each shooter is issued one at a time as the shoot progresses and saftey is a priority.

In the last photo you see part of the crowd in attendance. Shooters, family and friends watch the activites of the day. Many more folks are inside the firehouse enjoying the labors of the ladies of FFC. The kitchen was busy as can be with the preperation of oyster sandwiches, crab soup, clam chowder, burgers and dogs, not to mention cake, brownies and other sinful sweets on the bake table.

This event is held each year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and starts at 1:00 pm. Lot's of fun for a good cause and a great way to meet new people and make friends. Maybe we will see there next year?

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Kids and the Fairmount Turkey Shoot

Another thing I like about the Fairmont Fire Company turkey shoot is that they don't forget the little guys and gals. Two of the rounds are dedicated to the kids and under close adult supervision they have their own event.

Of course they use a sub-gauge shotgun, a .410 to be exact, but it's all for the youngsters. The winner walks away witha crisp $20.00 dollar bill and a healthy respect for firearms and good competition. And, as you can see the use of hearing protection is encouraged and total safety is strongly emphasized.

Start 'em early--teach 'em well.

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Winning Target

Here is the winning target for the Mossberg Shotgun I won today at Fairmont Fire Company. The idea is get a pellet from your shot closest to the "X" on the card. The shot is taken from about 100 feet away so really this game is more about luck than skill. I have seen targets with only one pellet hole in it and it was a winner.

To tell the truth I had much better targets than this one today that were losers. The big winner today was the fire company, and thats what really counts.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Today in 1963---JFK assassinated

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated on this day in Dallas Texas.
First lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally and his wife were also in the same car. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was three cars behind President Kennedy in the motorcade, a very rare occasion indeed for the two top executives to participate in such a public event at the same time.

The event has over the years sparked much controversy. Conspiracy theories abound and any effort to try and sort out the “evidence” is mind-boggling.

What facts are sure is this. President Jon F. Kennedy died on this day in 1963 by an assassin. He was 46 years old and the youngest President this country has had.
Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36 th President of the United States @ 2:39 Pm this day.

The United States and the World in general suffered a great loss and was changed forever.

We have persevered.

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning Everyone and Thank You for visiting.

I would just like to offer a Happy Thanksgiving to all and ask each of you to pleases remember all of our American troops at home and abroad. The work these fine men and women do is the reason I am able to sit in the comfort of my home and write this and you are able to sit in the comfort of your home and read it.

Think also of the men and women on the domestic front working to keep our homes and properties safe. I am speaking of the Police Officers and the Firefighters on duty this day. Forget not the volunteer Firefighters that may be required to leave their homes and families to assist those in need.

There are many others as well such as hospital workers attending to the needs of the sick. Mass travel workers doing their best to see to it others can be home for the holiday. The list goes on and on.

My plans for the rest of the day is simple, help prepare the meal, help consume the meal, find some place to hide during clean up.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you be Blessed with Peace and Love

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

SFD Recruit Class

Meet Jennifer White.

Jennifer is from Fruitland and is currently in the Paramedic program at Wor-Wic Tech Community College. Jennifer joined the Salisbury Fire Dept. in August of this year and is enrolled in the current academy class being conducted by the Dept. Additionally Jennifer has served four years in the United States Marine Corps.

Jennifer tells me she has quite a desire to serve the community in general and hopes to test for a carrer position with the SFD in the future.

No doubt Jennifer will be an asset to the Department and the community.

Good luck Jennifer, and Thanks for all you do!
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Oldtimers Breakfast

Every two weeks or so a group of Retirees from the Salisbury Fire Dept. Meet for breakfast. Most often we go the Daytons Restaurant but occasionally we meet elsewhere.
The conversation somtimes is about the fire department but often times it's about our daily lives today and our families. This time of year deer hunting is a great topic as many of us in the past hunted together. Several of the guys ride motorcycles in good weather and talk often revolves around bikes.

We usually have around 10-12 people attending but this morning we had 13.
While we were working or volunteering at the fire dept we stayed in touch on a regular basis. Now it's meetings like this that keeps us up to date with one another. It's good plan and very enjoyable.
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Monday, November 19, 2007


In the Maryland Section of the cemetery at Gettysburg is a simple marker indicating the location of 22 unknown soldiers buried there. The methods of identifing bodys so well known to us today did not exist during the Civil War. Often times parts of uniforms with company insignias were all that could identified as to the body recovered. I often wonder how many mothers of the era never had closure as to the whereabouts of their sons during this horiffic time in our history.

Pictured here is the monument in the cemetery at Gettysburg. Near the base of where this monument now stands is where Lincoln delievered his famous "Gettysburg Address". If you have never visited Gettysburg and are interested in history I strongly suggest you go there. A one day visit will not do justice to the overall experience. A new visitor center is slated to open this spring and I recomend everyone start there. Before you begin the battlefiels tour go the the "Electric Map" in the visitors center. The cost was $4.00 a person but after watching the map the battlefield tour itself is much more meaningful.

Take the kids! Don't let this period of history slip away.
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History Today, The Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his “Gettysburg Address” at the dedication of the cemetery created to intern the dead from the bloodiest battle of America’s Civil War at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
More than 45,000 men were killed wounded or were missing after the three day battle fought on July1st, 2nd, and 3rd, earlier that same year. Lincoln was asked merely two weeks before the dedication to offer a few word to Consecrate” the ground. Legend has it the address was written on the back of an envelope during the train ride from Washington to Gettysburg. The address, just 272 words long has become one of the most famous speeches ever written.
Edward Everett, an orator of the day, spoke for nearly 2 hours before Lincoln. Lincoln’s address lasted between 2 and 3 minutes and has been immortalized as the single document most defining of equality for all men as being the reason the bloody conflict must continue.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An American Veteran

This from "The Week" magazine.

Of the two million soldiers America sent to fight in WWI, only 1 remains alive. Mr. Frank Buckles, 106, of West Virginia is the last known living American WWI veteran.

Mr Buckles---We salute you and your service.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fall Colors

This morning after breakfast we went to visit some friends. In their front yard were two trees adorned in their fall colors. These photos truely do not do justice. The gold displayed in these leaves is just stunning. Our friends said they were even brighter a couple of days ago when it rained.

Soon they will be bear and the dreary winter will be upon us. Time was, it couldn't snow deep enough for me. I used to love the cold weather and looked forward to it. Now, I can't wait for Spring to get here.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reading Level of the BLOGS

I found something interesting on another BLOG I read daily. To check the reading level of the BLOG you are viewnig. Go here, http// and enter the BLOG name you are interested in. The results are surprising and amusing depending on the BLOG name entered.

Thanks to "Howard" from "Delmar Dustpan" for this one.

Custom Made Brackets

Albero goes on another small rant about some custom made brackets the Fire Department had made in order to mount the equipment props installed in the new firehouse. Albero claims these brackets were made and installed illegally. I challenge that assertion.

I stopped by Station 16 today and inquired about these so-called custom made “brackets” that has Albero wringing is his hands over. It seems the “brackets” are nothing more than steel I beams used to maintain the integrity of the equipment bodies as they where lifted and installed into the building. The “brackets” have been left in place to continue to brace and support the equipment through the many years of use it is destined to have. Anyone with any knowledge of vehicle bodies is aware that some sort of support needs to be in place in order to maintain its integrity. The only thing custom about these so-called brackets is that they are cut to length to fit each piece of equipment.

More importantly I was told the cost of the brackets were well within the parameters of the already approved budget for this particular phase of the project.

The “brackets” can be seen on Albero’s site in the photo showing the ambulance body being lifted into the building. They can also be seen on Wayne Barrall’s “Fire in the Hole” site. Scroll down to the Station 16 update segment and click on the photo to get the entire pictorial story.

Click here for Waynes site.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Posting This Week

I had planned on a number of new topics and posts this week but a minor mis-hap has slowed me down a bit. Should be good to go in a day or two.

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Armistice Day---November 11th

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.”

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

Major John McCrae, MD
Canadian Army

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. (Later to be known as WWI)
Germany, destitute of resources and manpower, knowing invasion of the homeland was eminent, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car near Compiegne, France. Word spread quickly and the great battlefronts grew quiet. At the appointed hour cheers rose from the trenches on both sides and the former foes joined one another in celebration.

The poem “In Flanders Fields”, written by Major John McCrae, a surgeon of the Canadian Army. Major McCrae wrote the poem after he lost his dear friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer in battle on May 2, 1915. The day after his friend was buried Major McCrae penned his now famous poem while musing Lt. Helmers death and watching wild poppies sway in the wind at the cemetery where he was buried.

McCrae initially tossed the poem away but a fellow officer retrieved it and it was published by “Punch” newspaper in England in 1915.

On June 4th, 1926 a resolution by congress officially designated November 11th as “Armistice Day” in remembrance of the end of the war.
Congress approved an act on June 1st, 1954 to change the name to “Veterans Day” in order to honor all Veterans of the U.S. armed services.

In Canada November 11th is known as “Remembrance Day” in honor of their veterans.

God bless all of those who have served and died to keep us free.

Christmas Cards for Soldiers--correction

Last Wendsday I put up a post with an address urging folks to send Christmas Cards to Any American Soldier in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. A reader sent me the following message.

Unfortunately, because of security concerns, the U.S. Postal Service will not process, nor will Walter Reed Hospital accept mail addressed to "Any Service Member" or the like. Any such offering will be returned to sender (if there is a return address) or donated to charities.Click
for more information, and for suggestions for other ways to honor our service members.

I had attempted to research the information on Snopes, but I apparently did not use the proper Keywords. I apologize for the error. It really seemed like a good idea, but I can understand the caution.

Additional note.
I have deleted the original post lest someone misses this one.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What Hath Albero Wrought

Today on Salisbury News, Captain Chris O’Barsky has a post up about his friend and colleague Lt. Lorenzo Cropper. In his post he describes how Lt Cropper feels betrayed by his “brothers” in the SFD after reading the posts and comments on Albero’s site. After reading the same posts and comments I can understand why he feels this way. Captain O’Barsky openly condemns those with-in the department that have spoken adversely of Lt. Cropper. I heartily concur with the Captain, as this is not emblematical of the brotherhood we have. Who is truly at blame for this sad set of circumstances?

This entire debacle was first aired publicly on the Salisbury News BLOG operated by Joe Albero. Albero has had a notorious vendetta against the city of Salisbury for a couple of years. In general, his bias is directed at Mayor Tilghman and anything concerning the operation of the city government including most every department head and past and present members of the elected council. Albero actively seeks to exploit anything he can perceive as wrongdoing with-in the city. It is this rancorous desire to bring harm to the City that has brought so much heartache to Lt. Cropper.

First of all Albero, by his own admission knows little or nothing of the operations of the Salisbury Fire Department. Obviously someone, or possibly more than one, with-in the department was very disgruntled about the recent promotions. This person(s), being of some intelligence saw in Albero an opportunity to air their displeasure without becoming public himself or herself. This person(s) fed Albero half-truths about the promotional process and, in an acrimonious rush to magnify his perceived malfeasance of Chief See, Mayor Tilghman, and the City as a whole; Albero endeavored to exploit whatever misinformation was tossed his way. Seeing opportunity to build hatred towards the city under the guise of supporting Lt. Cropper, Albero, by ploy of his informants, played the race card. Albero further fueled the controversy by allowing anonymous comments on his BLOG. Comments he blamed almost solely on firefighters. There may have been some “bad apples” from the with-in the department posting, but those apples are the same ones that used Albero as their mouthpiece in the first place. I believe by far and large most of the comments were of Albero’s doing, either by him personally or orchestrated by him through others.

Had Albero taken a different approach to the entire promotion issue, and sought through the proper channels to glean information that would enlighten readers rather than roil emotions, I do not believe Captain O’Barsky would feel so compelled to write a post defending his friend and showing compassion for Lt. Croppers well being.

Where does the blame lie for this sad state of affairs? Surely the bulk of it is at Albero’s feet. He has tried to make everyone believe he was Lt Croppers champion while at the same time tearing down the Mayor, the Chief, and the city. His only accomplishment with all of this has to been to plant seeds of doubt in Lt. Croppers mind and soul about his co-workers and compadres. This is not a business where you can afford to have doubts about the men and women you work with. Does Albero see the pain he has caused, not only with Lt. Cropper but also with the bulk of the Salisbury Fire Department? NO!
He offers no comment on the context of Captain O’Barsky’s post. He offers only a “thank you” because the captain signed his name.

I hope and pray Lt. Cropper will rise above all this. His knowledge and experience is valuable to the citizens he so well serves. His true friends are known to him and will continue to support him. Others with-in the department that have given bad information to Albero are also to blame for Lt. Cropper’s emotional quandary and someday they will be exposed for what they really are.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Coffee, Cookies,and Comedy

Albero has certainly done a lot of research on this one. I called the number shown and asked about the program, what it was designed to do and most importantly how it is funded. Albero would have you believe that the spending of restitution money for such a venue is a sin being commited by our local government. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

The number shown in his post, 410.546.5311 takes you to the Wicomico County Health Department, Cardio Vascular Health, Tobacco Use Prevention and Smoking Cessation Program. I spoke with Ms. Debbie Cooper RN. And was treated to an informative and pleasant conversation. The “Coffee, Cookies and Comedy” show is being held in con-junction with the annual “Great American Smoke-Out”. In this program the main attraction is a clown who, in real life, has lost a lung to cancer. I did not get any details on the show itself but even though it is a comedic program the message is serious and impelling

I asked Ms Cooper as just what exactly the Wicomico Restitution Fund was and how it came about. She was able to reliably inform me that the restitution fund is the Wicomico County’s Share of an award granted to the State of Maryland in a 1999 lawsuit against tobacco companies. The monies garnered in this award are to be used for programs such as “Coffee, Cookies and Comedy” in an effort to prevent smoking and to assist with the efforts of those wishing to quit. This fund also provides monies for programs in the local schools providing education to our children about the hazards of tobacco.

Also on hand the evening of the event will be vendors with advice and products for stress relief, smoking cessation assistance, and programs and brochures to assist anyone with the desire to give up tobacco.
Anyone wishing more information can call 410.546.5311 and ask to speak with the coordinator of the event, Ms Jennifer Johnson. If you are someone you know has a tobacco problem I urge you attend or invite your friend(s) to attend.

I haven’t a clue as to what Albero thinks this fund should be used for. The are specific limitations to it’s use and I am sure it’s use is monitored to ensure it is spent properly.

Albero wants to go and smoke a fat cigar at the front door in protest.
Mature-----don’t you think?

Albero Smacks BLOGERS Again

Albero, in order to boost his own ego, has once again taken to using a niggling post to villainize fellow BLOGERS. Oceanshaman put up an inspiring post about his life, the tribulations he has endured and his road to recovery from addiction. Albero places a nice comment to the post and then on his own site he slaps Oceanshaman square in the face. Oh---he says not, but the tone of the message certainly speaks for its self.

For some reason he believes I am part of the vast Tilghman Conspiracy against his labyrinthine vendetta he has for city government. Indeed the last time I even saw Mayor Tilghman was across the room at the recent promotion ceremony for SFD on October 22nd. The last I spoke to the Mayor was at the funeral of Firefighter Doug Brown on July 26th. How this makes me part of the Mayor’s “damage control” is beyond me. I am not at all sure if Albero even knows what damage control is. I am convinced that he, much like a cockatoo, merely repeats a catch phrase he has heard once too often all the while fluffing his feathers.

I am not known to carry matches so I am at a loss to remember when and which bridges I burned so long ago with the fire department. I beseech him to kindly list those bridges. No list will be forthcoming as I asked him twice to itemize the lies he claims I posted and as of yet he has not done so. I am not sure when my “fall from grace” occurred but it must have been recently. I have visited Station 16 a number of times in the last few weeks and was made to feel quite welcome by the upper management as well as the troops. So far as being a pawn to anyone, Albero should be welled attuned to that concept. After all his prodigious knowledge of the fire service is but a narrow thread fed to him from his petulant stoolies lacking the fortitude to speak for themselves or even to pursue redress by proper avenues.

Hmmm. Maybe I can send Albero $52.00 and a PIA request for that list.

Nawww—not really that interested.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

SFD Recruit Class

Last night members of the current recruit class for the Salisbury Fire Department continued with their training under the direction of firefighter Zack Bridges (center). Zack was assisting lead instructor, Assistant Chief John Tull with the finer points of the breathing apparatus used by firefighters while fighting fire. Also assisting was firefighter John Hitch. The exercise was to have each recruit become more familiar with the apparatus and learn to use the emergency connections in conjunction with a partner in the event of an emergency while operating inside a structure. Since the class was started in September, this was the ninth time the class had met for instruction.

Many of these students enrolled for this class as far back as July. I had the pleasure of talking briefly with some and them and found their backgrounds to be unique. One of the students hails from California, another from Miami Florida, and a third from New Jersey. They each arrived on the Eastern Shore for different reasons but all of them have honest desire to become firefighters. Assistant Chief Tull could tell me there are a total of 18 young men and women in the class and all of them are enthusiastic. The class is slated to graduate in December.
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Jefferson Davis Elected Today in 1861

Today in 1861,Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America. He was unopposed in the election. In reality the election was merely a confirmation that the Confederate congress had made earlier in the year.
Davis was a native of Kentucky, born in 1808. He attended West Point and graduated in 1828. Davis saw service in the “Black Hawk War” of 1832
Davis was a close advisor to Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War and was seriously wounded. Davis also served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce.
Davis suspected that he might be the choice of his fellow Southerners when the Southern states began seceding after the election of Abraham Lincoln. In February of 1861, when the newly seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, Davis was chosen to lead the Confederacy. Davis was elected to a six-year term on November 6th as established by the Confederate constitution.

Jefferson Davis was the only President the Cofederacy ever had.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today in 1862, Lincoln removes McClellan

Today in 1862 President Lincoln removed General George B. McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac due in part to failure to pursue General Lee’s army after the Battle of Antietam. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac after the Union Army was soundly defeated at the First Battle of Bull Run In Manassas Virginia. Early in 1862 McClellan led his army to the James Peninsula southeast of confederate capitol of Richmond. During the “seven Days” Battle McClellan was poised to take Richmond, but retreated when faced with a series of attacks by General Lee.
In August of 1862 Lee defeated Union General Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and quickly enacted a plan to invade the North. President Lincoln called on McClellan’s army to thwart the invasion and McClellan met Lee’s army at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17th. Although widely contested to a victor, Lee opted to retreat across the Potomac back to Virginia. Lincoln urged McClellan to pursue Lee, but he refused claiming fatigue of his men and horses. McClellan did finally begin a half-hearted pursuit of Lee’s army in October, but it took nine days to complete the crossing of the Potomac and by now Lee was deep in Virginia and had rested and re-grouped his troops.
On November 4th Lincoln relieved McClellan of command and gave the Army of the Potomac to General Ambrose Burnside. McClellan’s next battle with Lincoln came when he won the democratic nomination for president in the 1864 elections. He was easily defeated.

Albero Splashes Down

Albero, as predictable as always, is once again blasting the Salisbury Fire Department Marine Division in their quest for a new Fireboat. He is in such haste to belittle the SFD he can’t even remember when he had his original post up. Today he claims it was “early last summer”, when in reality it was mid August. Great research Albero.

The idea of protecting riverfront property is not out of line. I invite anyone to take a morning boat ride down the Wicomico River and take a look at the private properties there. Than take an afternoon drive and check out these same properties from the land. You will begin to see just how un-accessible many of these houses are. Some are built basically on islands or small spits of land with very narrow driveways. Once on the property there is little room to maneuver equipment, or even room for multiple pieces of equipment. Since so many of these properties are well outside the hydrant area, any fir of magnitude would require a tanker operation requiring equipment to move in and out of the area to maintain water supply.

The commercial property along the waterfront is also a matter of great concern. The largest concern of course in the petroleum tank farms located there. If anyone has any doubt about the hazard posed by that, please remember February 1975. That explosion at the Exxon terminal rocked houses for miles and miles around. Before that incident was brought control resources from Wallops Island Virginia were being used and resources from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware were under consideration.

Salisbury is the second largest petroleum port in the State of Maryland. Scoff at that all you like but facts are facts. Millions of gallons of product flow through there every day on the land and on the water. Safety is paramount to the crews of the tugs and barges that navigate the local waters, but accidents do happen. Fairly recent to the waterfront is the Salisbury Marina. Shipboard firefighting is ball of wax all to itself. Often time the craft involved in accessible to land based apparatus and the need to approach and mitigate an incident such as this must be done from the water. It may even be necessary to remove the burning craft from its mooring to protect surrounding boats and structures. That’s a little hard to with out a boat capable of controlling the situation.

The Marine Divisions largest boat in a 25-foot pleasure craft. The pumping capacity is currently 250 gpm from a portable pump. In order to be sufficient a fireboat should have a pumping capacity at least equal to its land based counterparts. The pumpers in the Salisbury Fire Dept today are 1200, 1500, and 2000 gpm.

It is true the city fireboat is seldom used for firefighting. However in May of 1979 the fireboat was in service fighting fire at the Pocahontas offices on Mill Street. Once again in June of 1979 at the Benjamins fire on the downtown Plaza. Had a boat with a decent pump on board been available, it could well have been used when Mr. Bill Martins house burned in the not so distant past. Also again with the fire at Setter’s Run (?) sub division when a house was lost and water supply was a problem. It may, (I said may) have been possible for a boat to supply relaying tankers with water from the river without having a long run to the nearest hydrant. A 250-gpm pump is akin to putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It’s a worthless act. So, the fireboat isn’t used that often for fighting fire therefore it isn’t needed. Using that rationale you should take the spare tire out of your trunk. After all you have 4 good ones on the road and you don’t need a spare that often.

Are special chemical needed to fight petroleum fires? You bet they are. Sometime these chemicals are used hundred or even thousands of gallon at a time.
Does Salisbury have these chemicals? You bet they do. The chemicals of which Albero’s commenter has spoken of is in concentrated form in 5 gal containers.
What bring these chemicals from concentrate to usable consistency for fighting fire?

WATER—that’s what. The chemicals are induced through the pumping systems and are apportioned to the proper mix and applied to the burning fuel. Sometimes this mix is applied from a distance. Sometimes it is induced directly into a tank. Sometimes hand lines at close range apply it. However it is applied, it can’t be done effectively with a 250 gpm portable pump and it must be done with a appropiate water/concetrate ratio.

Once again Albero questions why protection of this waterfront property doesn’t fall to the Coast Guard. Simply put—the Coast Guard isn’t here and as far as I know there is no plans to open a station here. Go ask the Coast Guard why. From Crisfield or Chincoteague, wherever the closest unit is stationed, it’s too far away to be of use to this area. Again---facts are facts.

Finally, the Times today clearly states that homeland security fund are prohibited from being used for a new fireboat. The $800,000 price tag is the upper limit to which a boat could cost. Albero want the insurance companies to pay for the boat. Does he think they will not pass on this expense to their customers? They will, and I assure you they will not pass it on to just those on the waterfront. Everyone will bear the expense.

I wonder----If Albero owned property on the waterfront would he scream if the city failed to have adequate protection for him?

Additional Thoughts
Albero mentioned that river traffic does not warrant bridge tenders. It seems the Sate of Maryland recently made that decsion. For what it's worth I find that to be a horrible turn of events from the SFD standpoint. Although there are longer active tank forms up in that harbor, there are many hazards that may require an immediate access by water. In all fairness Albero simply mentioned this as fact--he did not blame anyone or pass opinion on the matter.

Friday, November 2, 2007

My "Fat Trap" Answer to Albero

Well Albero, I guess its time for me to open my fat trap again. You are absolutely correct in that not everyone has time to devote to the BLOGS as you do. I have quite a bit going on right now and I have been quite busy.

Allow me to comment on the issues with the fire department. I felt like I expressed my opinion quite clearly. Of course not everyone agreed and that’s O.K. by me. I truly believe that you allowed anonymous posting on your site for the mere sensationalism of it and you got what you asked for. I do not believe all of the anonymous posters were firefighters. Some of them---absolutely, all of them no. Some of those that were firefighters are the same ones that comment on the Watchdesk for the pure sake of creating dissention. It works on that site and it worked on yours.

Now I am going to tread somewhere I vowed to my self not to go, but I feel it needs to be said. I am not sure who to lay the blame on for this, you or the gutless people who commented that obviously have little or no decency or compassion. I am speaking of the case involving Mrs. Albero. I blame you in part for the attacks on her because instead of shutting that subject down you fed into it.

I totally condemn those that brought the issue to light again because it had absolutely nothing to do with the subject or subjects at hand. The entire scheme was merely to create a diversion from the problems you perceived to exist with-in the fire department, and to cause you to rant more than normal. It worked and they laughed.

Anyone wishing to address those problems should be welcomed to do so, those that try to discredit your post by bringing up an issue long since settled, especially in the manner it was done, was way out of line. Another issue brought forth was that of your grandson. I have no clue to the circumstances that have brought you and Mrs. Albero to raise him and it is none of my business. If by doing so you have given him a better life, I feel that you both should be commended for it and his innocence should not be violated on these BLOGS.

Because of my belief in what I have stated I refused to participate in the pissing contest that took place on your BLOG last week. Yes, I just violated one of my own rules but I do feel that strongly about what I said. Your family’s business has no place on these BLOGS and those that have tried to make it so are to short-sighted and ignorant to see that. But for the grace of God they have obviously not experienced the frustration of long term injury or illness and dealing with an insurance company. I have and--- I can sympathize.
I do feel you should have shut that part of it down. You didn’t and that’s your choice. I shall say no more about it other than I can honestly say, I was not part of it.

I am sure I will continue to disagree with you on many issues. That is the nature of these BLOGS. However I will strive to stay in bounds---with you or anyone else.

I could have e-mailed this and kept it private. However I have been asked a number of times why I didn’t respond last week. I hope by posting it here for all to read it clears up why I didn’t.