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Archive for Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fire chief defends response time

June 19, 2007

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Jason Rose sentenced for Boardwalk Fire

He was convicted of killing three people by setting one of the worst fires in the city's history - yet Jason Rose could be out of prison as soon as seven years from now. Enlarge video

In the middle of sentencing Jason Allen Rose to prison Monday, District Judge Jack Murphy pointed a finger at the fire department, raising questions about its response to one of the worst fires in Lawrence history.

"While I'm not saying this to lessen your responsibility, the trial itself caused one to wonder if the extent of the tragedy could have been lessened," Murphy said to Rose. "There was one issue regarding the delay in response to the fire by the fire department. That question was unanswered (in the trial)."

Murphy's words in the final moments of the court saga stunned Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Chief Mark Bradford, who said he was pleased with the department's response time - 4.41 minutes - to the blaze first reported at 1:16 a.m. Oct. 7, 2005.

"I think these are probably isolated comments, but I do not agree with them," Bradford said later Monday.

Bradford said 36 on-duty fire and medical responders were the first to respond to the call, six coming from Station No. 3, 3708 W. Sixth St., about five blocks away.

"There wasn't a delay," he said. "Our goal, using national criteria, is to respond to incidents like this within four minutes from the time of call 90 percent of the time."

For the month of May, the department's average response was 4.21 minutes for all calls, 4.4 minutes for fire incidents and 4.06 minutes for medical calls. Bradford said such times were consistent with other figures for the last year.

Murphy on Monday also raised concerns about fire alarms at the apartment building in the 500 block of Fireside Drive.

"I don't recall one person say, 'I heard a fire alarm or a smoke alarm,'" Murphy said.

But Bradford said the department did hear reports of people hearing smoke alarms.

The fire killed three people and injured 17.

Comments

Bill Chapman 7 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps judge Murphy would like to try to prove that he can do it in less time.

Have him do the whole deal - start in the station's kitchen or common room, then run to the truck bay, put on the equipment, get in the truck, and then attempt to drive to the location while avoiding running over the drivers that don't realize they should be moving out of the way of those REALLY BIG TRUCKS running up their butts.

Having seen many local and out of town drivers unwilling to get out of the way, I would like to see a fire truck built with a old time cow catcher like they used to put on the old steam engines for the railroad. Just run up their backside and shove 'em out of the way. Pass a law absolving the city and county of any responsibility for damages or injury from this act as well.

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commuter 7 years, 1 month ago

You know the fire was called in at 1:16 am. 4 minutes 41 seconds still a good response time.

I had to call 911 at 7 pm at night. The station was about six blocks away but it still took about five minutes. A Lawrence Police Officer was there first but the paramedics were there within minutes of the call.

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itsjustmyopinion 7 years, 1 month ago

With such a weak sentencing and a stament like that against the fire department, Murphy must be thinking retirement. Murphy stated he did not want to lesson Rose's responsibility; however, one would have to question that from the pathetic sentencing handed down by Murphy. If Murphy or others want faster response times, then the city needs more stations and newer equipment, but instead the city is looking at cuts.

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itsjustmyopinion 7 years, 1 month ago

Consumer1 is just looking for an arguement. I believe the word run was a figure of speach. But being the intelligent person that consumer1 obviously is, I am sure he/she has never said, "I need to run to the store." Lighten up consumer1 and stick to the issue, or maybe it is you that does not comprehend the issue.

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toast 7 years, 1 month ago

Four minutes 41 seconds sound very fast to me. One good way to reduce response time would be to put a fire station next to every building in the city. Whadyathink?

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itsjustmyopinion 7 years, 1 month ago

lets roll consumer1. Just how would you suggest to improve response times without improving equipment or more money? And I assure I have no ego problems. In fact, I do not have an ego, but thanks for playing the unemployed therapist.

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bambam23 7 years, 1 month ago

"consumer1 (Anonymous) says: Station #3 is only about six blocks away from the fire and it was almost two o'clock in the morning. So yeah! lots of traffic at that time. You seems to also have a fragile ego and don't like bad press. Then improve the response time without asking for more money and new equipment."

No traffic your right, but 2am=sleep. It was an uneducated comment the judge made thats all. The fire department did a good job. And guess what consumer1 after just reading about the 9 Sc firefighters that gave thier lives today, it just goes to reinforce that everyone of them is a hero. Period.

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Jeremy 7 years, 1 month ago

Why were cops calling for a simple ladder to the back side of the building to rescue people and none arrived? Why were residents jumping from the burning building's top floor onto the pavement, breaking their legs and backs when there were fire trucks staged blocks away?

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itsjustmyopinion 7 years, 1 month ago

Jeremy, Police are in thier cars all night. Police cars are much more manuverable than fire trucks. Furthermore, fire fighters have much gear to put on before they begin thier job. I would be willing to bet the police did not have fire proof suits on. They (the police) however did an excellent job - above and beyond!

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LHS1980 7 years, 1 month ago

My Grandfather was the FC of Lawrence, and then the DFM for the state; I can assure you those men and women of the LFD are heroes and only care about others. I would like to see the judge get his robe on, and then get to his court room in under 5 minutes at 2:00 in the morning.

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Bladerunner 7 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who has ever been to a fire scene knows the routine. The fire department arrives and a few guys begin setting up hoses. Some of the personnel lay out blankets with a cooler and water bottles so fire personnel won't become overheated. They may have arrived promptly but i can just about guarantee you no water was put on the fire in the first 10 minutes.

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Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Judge Murphy's comments were perfectly appropriate. They were made after the sentencing and there is no indication that his criticism impacted his handling of the trials. While Judge Murphy was presiding over the trials such comments would have been inappropriate, after the fact he is free to criticize public officials and the performance of their duties.

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imastinker 7 years, 1 month ago

It definitely takes longer than 10 minutes to begin squirting a fire. You wake up, find whatever clothes you need, go out to the truck, open the door, get gear on (this takes a while), someone starts the truck and waits for the air brakes (sometimes a minute right there), then when the truck is full, you take off. Most trucks are called out emergency, but are not allowed to speed or break traffic laws. This is a safety thing.

Having been a volunteer to this type of thing before, I understand completely, except my routine involved driving to the station.

Then, Incident command is set up. Trucks are positioned and the chaos is controlled to the extent possible. Engines are getting hoses run and pumps primed. Crews are putting on gear to go inside if possible or necessary. There's a lot to do, and I'm glad I've never had to be in charge of all that.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 1 month ago

The fire dept. can't speed going to a fire, but the police can speed going after someone in a car who wouldn't stop?

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BorderRat 7 years, 1 month ago

How about a test? Have yourself awakened from sleep at 1:16 am, get dressed, get a dispatcher to tell you where you are going and get in your vehicle and drive there. How long did it take you? I'll bet many of you couldn't get out of bed in 4 minutes.

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Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

"I'll bet many of you couldn't get out of bed in 4 minutes." Maybe not, however the goal, using national criteria, is to get to 90% in under four minutes, which LFD appears to be missing and missed by a large amount the night of that fire. Just because the rest of us aren't firefighters doesn't mean we can criticize the LFD when they miss their own goals. Or maybe LFD should follow the Lawrence USD lead and just reduce their goals in order to increase their success rate?

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bambam23 7 years, 1 month ago

"Sigmund (Anonymous) says:

"I'll bet many of you couldn't get out of bed in 4 minutes." Maybe not, however the goal, using national criteria, is to get to 90% in under four minutes, which LFD appears to be missing and missed by a large amount the night of that fire. Just because the rest of us aren't firefighters doesn't mean we can criticize the LFD when they miss their own goals. Or maybe LFD should follow the Lawrence USD lead and just reduce their goals in order to increase their success rate?"

your an idiot

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Tristan Moody 7 years, 1 month ago

"your an idiot"

holds up mirror and laughs hysterically

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Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 1 month ago

I think 4 minutes is a great response time. THose firefighters are heroes, they risk their lives for us some of them strictly volunteer. Yes it would be great if they could get there in less than 4 min every time but to bring it up in the trial was whacko.

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BorderRat 7 years, 1 month ago

Consumer1, you're starting to sound like a former firefighter with an axe to grind.

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herman 7 years, 1 month ago

The Police department arrived; they went into the buildings to try to rescue people. The Sheriff's department arrived; they went into the buildings to try to rescue people. The Fire department arrived (after 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, whatever); they stood around waiting for someone to take charge. They failed to do their job. Judge Murphy was talking about the response time before the Fire department actually DID something. Truth hurts.

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classclown 7 years, 1 month ago

Anonymous user

itsjustmyopinion (Anonymous) says:

With such a weak sentencing and a stament like that against the fire department, Murphy must be thinking retirement. Murphy stated he did not want to lesson Rose's responsibility; however, one would have to question that from the pathetic sentencing handed down by Murphy. If Murphy or others want faster response times, then the city needs more stations and newer equipment, but instead the city is looking at cuts.

===========================================================

Jason Allen Rose, 21, was sentenced Monday to 10 years and two months in prison, the maximum sentence he could have received for three counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated battery.

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 1 month ago

itsjustmyopinion wrote " I do not have an ego."

Freud would be shocked. I suppose itsjustmyopinion similarly lacks an id and a super-ego.

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

as a personal friend to one of the victims killed by jason rose, i put NO blame on the fire department.. if they would have shown up and sat on their butts i would have something to say, but the fact is, 45 people total spent the night doing everything they could to get people out. i find it hard to believe that any group of first responders would intentionally delay themselves, or blow off a call. most of these people serve on a volunteer basis, if they didn't take the job seriously, or if they didn't want to be there, they wouldn't.

on the other hand.. i think boardwalk needs to be held accountable. the place was a match box, for a fire to become so intense, and spread throughout an entire block long complex within minutes shows that there was error in the construction. where were the sprinklers? alarms? why are there still common attics? when was it last inspected? and how could whomever owned/managed the property get away with not updating or improving the building after 30 years? it's absurd to think that building that are older aren't updated or improved as technology improves. basically i am saying that to blame the fire department is chicken sh-t. yes, there are a ton of things that were completely off, and hopefully the owners will get the crap sued out of them, but the main, #1 cause of this fire is Jason Rose. the fire department was there with the sole purpose to save lives, and property.

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Bill Chapman 7 years, 1 month ago

Interesting how consumer1 backed off after someone mentioned he "might" have something against firefighters. Could he possibly be a failed recruit? Consumer1 seemed real familiar with the procedure and name of equipment.

Just for the record: I am not, nor have I ever been a firefighter. I have participated in some of the training exercises firefighters go through (not in this city, I was in Kalamazoo, MI) however.

Many cities prevent the fire trucks from going over the speed limit because those trucks have more mass than many semi-trucks with full trailers - trying to stop that mass at 50 or 60 mph to avoid some idiot pulling through an intersection before they hit the idiot is almost impossible. When something with that mass actually hits someone at speed that someone is basically roadkill - and the incident the truck was going to is now down one (possibly important) truck, the equipment on that truck, and (most important) the crew of that truck. Also, they loose the time it will take to replace that truck with another - in the case of a ladder truck this lost time could cost lives.

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Crossfire 7 years, 1 month ago

The Judges comments seem to be an attempt direct attention away from his inability to hand down the appropriate sentence in this triple murder case. No amount of finger pointing will lessen the pain felt by the friends and familys of Jose Gonzalez, Yolanda Riddle and Nicole Bingham. These three are gone. The memories of that night will never end.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe Judge Murphy did the best thing he could. aquake too had said the first jury would have had a hard time with a verdict because of the EVIDENCE presented. I think that if the only choice would have been 1st degree murder or aquital.............unfortunately I believe he would have been aquitted.

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blackwalnut 7 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate firefighters who risk their lives to serve us. I dont think much of Judge Murphy's comments.

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n2005 7 years, 1 month ago

I think possibly the judge was referring to the police testimony. They said they went twice to the front to get the fire department to bring a ladder to the back help the victims from the 3rd floor windows. They testified that they had to physically dissuade two intoxicated men from trying to enter the building to rescue a friend who returned a second time with a ladder. They testified that the fire department never came to the lot with a ladder. There are many things that came out in the trial that were not in the media.

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

n2005, were you there? what was the response on the latter situation? where would they have been?

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n2005 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't have any answers for m1983 or bitter. They need to ask the fire dept and police. I already described the testimony I heard. I don't know any more.

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