for and about the Connecticut shoreline towns
"Efforts to upgrade the towns emergency communications system got a major boost this week when Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that Greenwich will receive a $245,000 grant for the project."
"The Greenwich Fire Department is wrapping up its annual backcountry water-source testing and inspections, which will continue over the coming weeks, according to a top fire official."
"After 40 years with the Greenwich Fire Department, Lt. Patrick Gordiski still has no trouble keeping up with the younger members of his squad."
"Greenwich public safety brass obtained approval Monday night to spend up to $155,000 in taxpayer funds to study replacement of the aging radio network used by first responders, town highway crews and entities such as the Red Cross -- a project that fiscal stewards say could eventually cost up to $16 million."
"A former deputy fire marshal who died April 12 was remembered at his funeral service Friday at Saint Catherine of Siena Church for his love of family, friends, career and community."
"In the wake of an internal audit that found the town's schools did not undergo required fire and other building inspections in 2011, town officials say problems with the fire marshal's office have continued since 2008, despite ongoing efforts to address them."
"The Representative Town Meeting on Monday voted 166 to 19 to accept a $600,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for a new, high-tech port security police boat capable of detecting chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive devices, as well as fighting fires."
"The Representative Town Meeting gave the go-ahead Monday night to demolish the central fire station to make way for a new code-compliant building, scuttling a preservation group's bid to save the historic structure."
"Greenwich must soon decide whether to accept $600,000 in federal port security funds for a multi-purpose homeland security boat, a grant that is dividing emergency planners and some budget hawks in the Connecticut suburb closest to New York City."
"Greenwich preservationists are making a final push to save the historic central fire station from the wrecking ball, hoping a report from a local architect and letters from state officials will convince the town to renovate the structure rather than demolish it to make way for a new building."
"Most places that have fire departments that are part-volunteer, part-professional experience some battling between the factions. Greenwich has had its problems, just like the rest of them."
"Members of Representative Town Meeting won't be getting any firefighting schwag anytime soon after overwhelmingly denying full funding for a $23 million central fire station project because of questions about the scope and cost of the work."
"Just weeks after the police department broke free of the last remaining lawsuit over promotions, new issues began simmering Monday when the town posted job applications for four open captains' positions with controversial criteria."
"With two phases of the town's public safety complex now complete, town officials are turning their attention to the next major task, giving the Fire Department an updated, centralized headquarters."
"GREENWICH -- On the heels of a state Supreme Court decision that put to rest a lawsuit that had halted police department promotions for years, the police chief announced Monday that he has signed on to lead the department for another two years."
"Active and retired police officers, current and former town officials, and the general public gathered Monday to celebrate the completion of the police department headquarters located in the towns Public Safety Complex on Bruce Place."
"Police received two additions to the force Monday morning when officers Lisa Ruiz and Christian Rosario were sworn in during a ceremony at Town Hall."
"The Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) gave its official blessing to the towns $340 million 2009-10 municipal budget Thursday night, but those supporting a King Street fire station will have to wait for now."
"After years of planning, the town has centralized its public safety dispatch call center, joining an increasing number of municipalities to streamline operations."
"Despite minor quality control issues with the construction of the new downtown police station, building officials said the project is still moving ahead on schedule. "
"Heading into the new year, the town's public safety departments are preparing to make the switch from a dated analog radio system to an all digital network, providing better coverage and quality for police, fire and GEMS workers who rely heavily on the network."
"After 25 years with the Greenwich Police Department, Capt. Michael Pacewicz has put in his papers, with his last day expected to be this week."
"When firefighters aren't battling blazes, they're serving up sizzling meals in the fire house kitchen. That's the subject of a new television pilot created by Greenwich firefighter Guy Fortt and award-winning director Martha Pinson."
"As the fire department continues to expand its stations, programs and equipment, officials said they are grappling with a declining number of volunteer firefighters in the area - an issue plaguing departments across the country."
"More than 25 firefighters were recognized for their hard work and commitment to the job. This was a Loca 1042 so no volunteers were recognized."
"Thanks to newly installed satellite technology, firefighters can now respond to the scene of a blaze faster and locate water sources with more ease, saving more than just time and effort - potentially saving lives."
"The fire department has completed phase one of a five-year project aimed at building an extensive system of dry hydrants and underground cisterns to help firefighters tap into water sources in dry areas of the backcountry, officials said."
"Police, fire, and EMS officials representing Fairfield and other nearby towns marched down the Post Road to St. Thomas Aquinas Church this past Sunday to participate in the 6th Annual "Blue Mass." "
"Splashing slowly through Greenwich Harbor, Sound Beach volunteer firefighters yesterday took turns checking out a luminous red, blue and yellow image of the seabed of the channel on-screen."
"Another chapter in a four-year battle over the town's methods for promoting unionized police and firefighters to command positions will begin this week as the state Supreme Court takes up whether the town flouted state labor law by passing over a Greenwich lieutenant for promotion in 2003."
"Resuming the helm of the town's Fire Marshal's Division last week after a seven-month suspension, Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Joseph Benoit said he understands the unit is expected to be more efficient in completing building inspections and other required tasks."
"The town hopes to begin training civilian dispatchers in the next month so firefighters can be freed up to respond to emergency calls."
"In an effort to cut down on unwarranted high speed responses and the accidents that can result, fire commanders have adopted new guidelines on how many fire trucks need to race to some fire and emergency calls."
"Officials at the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department have promoted T. John Cunningham to the position of assistant fire chief."
"After facing a staffing crunch and shortage of qualified applicants two years ago, the Greenwich Police Department has netted dozens of eligible candidates for police officer with new recruitment efforts."
"The town will seek almost $500,000 in state grants to pay to build a system of dry hydrants and underground cisterns to tap hard-to-reach water for firefighting in the backcountry."
"The cold weather didn't stop more than 35 volunteer firefighters from taking to the Mianus River this past Sunday morning to practice life-saving rescue skills. Donning cold-water rescue suits, firefighters took turns entering the ice-covered river to perform simulated rescues."
"CONNECTICUT (Martin B. Cassidy).- A proposal to promote eight new lieutenants this year to provide better leadership and supervision at the Cos Cob and Byram fire stations has drawn concerns from volunteer firefighters' chain of command, town officials said."
"Atop an ice and water rescue sled, Greenwich firefighter Thomas Pitasi plunged into the icy green brine of Cos Cob Harbor toward a fellow firefighter playing victim in the murky water."
"Two months after halting termination hearings for suspended Fire Marshal Joseph Benoit without explanation, elected officials are mum on when the town will resume efforts to fire the 34-year fire department veteran."
"Police will conduct an internal affairs investigation into a complaint by a Byram merchant and town legislator who alleged yesterday four officers illegally targeted his North Water Street flower and gift shop Thursday evening to stifle him from criticizing them on a local radio program."
"Concerns about fire safety prompted the town to equip its newly arrived police cruisers with a different technology to prevent gas tank explosions in case of a high speed collision."
"Before emptying stockings and unwrapping gifts under the tree, Police Officer Timothy Kelly, 28, spent Christmas Day patrolling the streets of Greenwich."
"The town's fire inspectors want to be made deputy fire marshals, saying a higher salary and rank is warranted because of the demands of the job, union officials said."
"A hearing to determine the employment future of Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Benoit is underway and could potentially stretch into the new year."
"In the past week, Joseph Benoit, a 34-year veteran of the Greenwich Fire Department, sat quietly for two days in the Town Hall meeting room as a host of witnesses - notably First Selectman Jim Lash - built up a lengthy record of complaints of the last three years of his service as the Town's fire marshal and deputy fire chief."
"Continuing his rise through the ranks, Robert Kick has been named and sworn in as the Greenwich Fire Departments new assistant chief, making him second in command of the department he has worked in for 15 years."
"Helping investigate crooked Greenwich financier Martin Frankel and helping to found a joint arson task force with the town Fire Department are two career milestones that stand out for Detective Edward Zack, he said yesterday."
"With more than two dozen firefighters looking on, Greenwich's new assistant fire chief Robert Kick asked them to help him improve the performance and morale of the department."
"The Board of Selectmen plans to vote today to promote a 14-year Greenwich Fire Department veteran and deputy chief to fill the position of assistant fire chief, a post in charge of the daily firefighting operations of the department."
"Working in a systematic manner, using his hands to feel around because visibility is low, Capt. Dan Byrne rises from the muck-filled water of what, in better weather, is the Rocky Point Yacht Club pool."
"Spending millions to end lagging backcountry fire protection is a top priority of a new long-range blueprint for the Greenwich Fire Department."
"The e-mail begins: "I am writing to urge you to procure for the Town of Greenwich Fire Department a truck-mounted crash cushion that we see in use whenever state highway workers are on any of our highways. The need is immediate and the safety of both our emergency responders and the driving public demand that we react.""
"In the wee hours one morning last March, firefighters raced into a burning house on Arnold Street and made a difficult search for an elderly woman."
"As part of a new push to lure volunteer firefighters into the town's ranks, the fire department is distributing a new video to showcase the service to prospective recruits."
"The limbo-state of elongated litigation in the case of Lt. Gary F. Honulik and Capt. Michael Pacewicz "cripples" the Greenwich Police Department these days, First Selectman Jim Lash told the Republican Town Committee (RTC) last Wednesday in Town Hall."
"More details are beginning to emerge surrounding First Selectman James Lashs efforts to dismiss Greenwich Fire Department (GFD) Deputy Chief Joseph Benoit."
"The Greenwich Fire Department, an organization that prides itself on its quick response to emergencies, has been anything but fleet of foot when paying its phone bill."
"First Selectman Jim Lash said yesterday that the town has twice been cited for failing to file reports on fire calls with the state fire marshal under the watch of town Fire Marshal Joseph Benoit, whom he wants fired."
"First Selectman Jim Lash said yesterday that the town has twice been cited for failing to file reports on fire calls with the state fire marshal under the watch of town Fire Marshal Joseph Benoit, whom he wants fired."
"First Selectman James Lashs wish has been granted and the towns appeal of the suit won by Greenwich Police Department (GPD) Lt. Gary Honulik is going straight to the Connecticut State Supreme Court."
"Republican and Democratic nominees for first selectman in this fall's election said challenging a court decision forcing the promotion of a policeman to captain will hurt public safety and cost more than legal fees."
"The employment future of Greenwich Fire Department (GFD) Deputy Chief Joseph Benoit is now in the hands of an independent hearing officer."
"If the town was expecting a sympathetic reaction from the court over police Lt. Gary Honuliks lawsuit against it, it received a rude awakening last week."
"If the town fights a verdict promoting one police officer to captain while demoting another, officials will not be able to replace a police command staff depleted by retirements, First Selectman Jim Lash said."
"In a searing decision that castigates the town for arrogance and flouting state employment law, a state Superior Court judge has ordered Greenwich to promote a police lieutenant to captain, ruling that another officer was illegally promoted to the post in 2003."
"Any time of year, a Yankees/Red Sox showdown at Fenway Park is a special event and thats even more so when its September and the pennant race is in full swing."
"With police seeking higher salaries in upcoming contract negotiations, town officials say they recognize they must maintain competitive salaries to successfully vie for a smaller pool of aspiring police candidates."
"A discrimination lawsuit against the town by five former and current members of the Greenwich Police Department (GPD) has been amended to remove town officials, including First Selectman James Lash, from the suit, but the officers lawyer insists the complaint has not changed."
"For the first time in more than 30 years, a civilian will coordinate the town's response to emergencies such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks."
"After a brief meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Selectmen voted to officially instate acting police Chief David Ridberg as the department's top officer."
"Steel girders appeared on Havemeyer Place this week as the framework of the town's new police station begins to rise, and town officials said construction of a new public safety complex is on schedule."
"More than a dozen firefighters huddled around a muddy trench yesterday as others worked inside the hole to secure a dirty yellow mannequin to a stretcher during a trench collapse drill."
"Theres a new chief in town after the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the promotion of Assistant Fire Chief Peter Siecienski to succeed Fire Chief Sanford Anderson when he retires on Aug. 1."
"After two years as Greenwich fire chief, Sanford "Sandy" Anderson, the first black to lead the department and a leader who oversaw the introduction of a new command structure, announced yesterday that he will retire Aug. 1."
"A dozen firefighters practiced using water-based foam, coating a burned-out building and surrounding parking lot with a heavy carpet of snow white bubbles yesterday on North Street."
"More than a year after the police chief folded a department-sanctioned honor guard, a new guard made up of unionized Greenwich police officers has led the town's St. Patrick's Day Parade and paid their respects to two auxiliary police officers killed in Manhattan."
"To improve the water supply for fighting blazes in the backcountry where there is no town water supply, the fire department is looking for more residents who will let them install dry hydrants on ponds, lakes or swimming pools."
"Struggling with attrition and a lag in hiring, full staffing at the Greenwich Police Department remains at least a year away, according to Chief James Walters."
"GREENWICH - The unblemished red body of the 1931 Seagrave is embellished with several seashell crests, a visual pun on the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department's name cooked up by the legendary fire engine manufacturer."
"Four firefighters huddled around the gushing pipe, stopping leaks with special tape, clamps and wooden dowels to stem the flow of water during a simulated gasoline spill inside a building."
"Clad in an insulated plastic suit which kept him warm and buoyant, Greenwich firefighter Steve Lanzarone floated in the frigid Mianus River to help his fellow firefighters practice their cold water rescue skills."
"A town decision to do away with competitive testing in filling two deputy police chief jobs has rankled members of the police union, who say it can lead to favoritism rather than promotions based on merit."
"The chain of command at the Greenwich Police Department will be changed this month with the appointment of two deputy chiefs, one of whom is expected to succeed Chief James Walters, officials announced yesterday."
"A Greenwich police captain said he has cleared four police officers accused of targeting a town legislator's floral and gift shop to curb the owner's criticism of police coverage in Byram on his web site and the radio."
"Greenwich - Minority police officers have withdrawn allegations of racial profiling from a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department and town, but added new charges that police brass retaliated with discipline against theplaintiffs because of the suit."
"State labor officials have fined the town for two safety violations at the Greenwich Police Department found during an inspection that prompted the removal of lead dust and correction of fire hazards in the building."
"Greenwich firefighters in the backcountry sometimes stretch a mile or more of hose to reach a hydrant or other water source to fight blazes, according to Fire Inspector John Fronio."
"Danbury's fire chief will be Greenwich's new assistant fire chief, a position with overall authority for the department's daily operations, budgeting, training and supervising of four deputy chiefs."
"Under leaden skies last Thursday morning, town leaders hefted shovels of dirt to launch construction of the $32 million Public Safety Complex at Bruce Place."
"Greenwich Police Chief James Walters testified yesterday that he had an open mind about who to promote to captain in May 2003, despite occasional disputes with the police lieutenant who had the top score on an assessment test."
"Seven contractors entered bids to build the town's new police station and parking garage, after an earlier round only drew one offer."
"Seven minority Greenwich police officers were passed over for promotion because of their performance, not systematic racism, according to the town's response to a federal discrimination lawsuit"
"The state workplace safety department is testing the air quality at the Police/Fire Administration Building and ordered improvements to emergency exits after an anonymous complaint about crowding and work conditions led to an inspection Tuesday."
"When firefighter Mark Dawson served as chairman of the Representative Town Meeting's Town Services Committee, he recused himself from votes that might affect his employment, he said."
"The police department has begun an aggressive recruiting effort after an unexpected rash of retirements, departures, and a nearly empty eligibility list have left the force with a staffing shortage."
"On Friday, police Lt. Richard Cochran hoisted an unplugged computer printer in his nearly barren office inside the Police Administration Building and moved across the street to a converted jail cell that will be his new base."
"A defense attorney asked the state to investigate the Greenwich Police Department yesterday, saying it rigs investigations of car crashes involving its officers, while the town announced it will fight the $910,000 a jury awarded a young man in a collision between a police officer and a civilian."
"A jury yesterday concluded that a Greenwich police officer's reckless driving caused a collision on Lake Avenue four years ago and awarded a town man $910,000 in damages for injuries he sustained in the crash, attorneys said."
"Bundled in a hooded aluminum suit and resembling an astronaut, Todd Bataille tried to raise his arms to his throat to indicate to his fellow town firefighters he was choking."
"An 11th-hour effort to remove $33 million from the 2006-07 proposed town budget for the new downtown public safety complex failed to win over a majority of Representative Town Meeting members last night."
"The town awarded Industrial Wrecking Inc. of Bridgeport a $222,450 contract this week to demolish the police department's administration building, making way for a new public safety complex."
"After a five-month standoff between First Selectman Jim Lash and the town police union, the two sides sat down last week and resolved an ongoing labor dispute."
"GREENWICH - The town has received bids from seven firms to demolish the police department's administration building, the lowest bid less than half the $500,000 cost the town expected to pay to level the building and make way for the construction of a new public safety complex, the town's building superintendent said."
"The town finance board's budget committee voted unanimously last night to allow the fire department to use $224,500 in its budget to replace dwindling overtime funds sapped by firefighters out sick."
"A letter warning individual firefighters to cut back on their sick days and an ensuing labor grievance are the latest exchanges between firefighters and First Selectman Jim Lash in an impasse related to reining in overtime spending."
"Perhaps Dan Warzoha should be popping vest buttons with pride over the Town of Greenwich response to two horrific wind, rain, sleet and snowstorms a week ago."
"Kennard Ray Little repeated his number over the fire department radio system yesterday, saying it as if his fellow firefighters might have forgotten."
"The Greenwich Fire Depart-ment cut back the number of firefighters it keeps on duty at the North Street and Central fire stations last week to preserve dwindling overtime funds, but staffing was returned to normal after two days when union leaders raised safety concerns."
"While the town has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing hydrants and purchasing other equipment to fight backcountry fires, its rating for fire protection in that area lags behind that of central Greenwich."
"A Greenwich firefighter still recovering from serious injuries he suffered in the December 2003 Davis Avenue blaze has sued a snowplow company and its driver who hit an exterior gas line at the multifamily house, starting the fire."
"The state has cited the Greenwich Police Department for failing to provide required annual safety training for handling hazardous materials and blood-borne pathogens and ordered that it be provided soon, police said."
"Following recommendations made in a report in the aftermath of a 2003 blaze where three firefighters were seriously injured, the town is hiring seven firefighters this week."
"Firefighters from across town gathered in Glenville yesterday, clad in shorts and t-shirts and ready to make a mess of themselves at an outdoor version of Kitchen Stadium."
"While gas masks and chemical protection suits sit in storage at the Greenwich Police Department, the town's police union wants to know why the town has not yet used federal funding to train officers to use the gear."
"GREENWICH - In a major reorganization intended to clarify its chain of command, the town fire department will hire four new deputy chiefs to take primary authority commanding firefighters, the fire chief said."
"As long as she can remember, Deana Salerno has known that Officer Hubert "Herbie" Sala-mon ruled the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and Have-meyer Place."
"A Greenwich firefighter injured in the Davis Avenue blaze last year filed a lawsuit Friday against the town and Fire Department Chief Daniel Warzoha."
"GREENWICH -- An expected delay in receiving homeland security funds has prompted the town to put off paying for equipment purchases and training exercises for terrorist attacks and disasters, according to town officials."
"GREENWICH - Career firefighters are pressing for larger crews of paid personnel on fire engines responding to fires and other emergencies, saying the use of two-man teams exposes them and the public to unnecessary danger during house and building fires."
"With a shopping list already in hand that includes satellite phones, a reverse 911 system and nerve gas antidote, Greenwich's first responders expect to receive the town's share of federal homeland security funds for the current fiscal year next spring."
"With the yearlong $1.25 million renovation of the Cos Cob fire station complete, firefighters will return to work in the historic building within two weeks, fire officials said yesterday."
"The results of a wide-ranging survey of residents gives high marks to police officers for responding to day-to-day problems, but shows respondents feel the department could do better solving law-enforcement problems in specific neighborhoods."
"The recently resigned chief of the Byram Volunteer Fire Department said he will not return to the company, citing bad blood with the department's board over the suspension of its assistant chief."
"The town's police union will oppose a change in the formula for calculating the pay rate for municipal employees serving in the military, union President Sgt. Timothy Berry said yesterday."
"It's been five days since police Sgt. Kraig Gray's pay was drastically cut while he's serving in the Army Reserves in the Middle East."
"Saying a miscalculation led to municipal employees serving in the military being overpaid while stationed overseas, town finance officials reduced a police officer's bi-monthly paycheck by $500 effective last Friday. Family members fear the town could seek to recover more money when he returns."
"A hundred years ago, Old Greenwich residents tired of relying on the faraway central Greenwich fire station joined together to start a new fire department to serve the eastern side of town. The Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department was born."
"The police union will likely settle on a new contract with the town within the next month, its president said."
"Greenwich's first black career firefighter questioned why more black people and members of other minority groups have not been hired by the town fire department yesterday in a speech before the Greenwich Rotary Club."
"Police officers who dispatch ambulances in Greenwich are implementing procedures to better gauge the urgency of a patient's condition and provide instructions on emergency medical care before police and ambulances arrive."
"The police union has agreed to continue negotiating with the town until at least Aug. 1 to reach a new pact, said Sgt. Timothy Berry, president of the Silver Shield Association. The union's contract expires on Thursday."
"The owner of a building destroyed in a major fire in December and one of the firefighters seriously injured in the blaze intend to sue the town of Greenwich and Fire Chief Dan Warzoha."
"Asking for more specifics on how the money would be spent, the Representative Town Meeting's Finance Committee recommended the RTM cut $500,000 earmarked to address safety and staffing problems in the Greenwich Fire Department."
"Last year, the Byram Volunteer Fire Department paid a firm $2,000 to handle its annual fund-raising mailer -- and lost money on the deal."
"The Byram Volunteer Fire Department recently received a new, more versatile fire engine with technology that makes it easier to drive and operate the hoses and other equipment on board, the chief said."
"Both paid and volunteer firefighters sometimes violate the department's policy requiring an annual physical, according to the department's training officer, who hopes a recently enacted departmental procedure will resolve the issue."
"An old debate was rekindled in the Greenwich Fire Depart-ment last month, when an outside panel investigating problems at a December blaze reported a culture of conflict between the town's career firefighters and their volunteer counterparts."
"When an early morning blaze broke out Monday at a multimillion dollar home in northwest Greenwich, firefighters had to stretch 1.5 miles of hose to tap a pond for water, acting Fire Chief Joseph Benoit said. While they worked, flames spread rapidly and left the home a charred ruin."
"GREENWICH -- The state has cited the Greenwich Fire Department for violating regulations to track the whereabouts of firefighters during the December Davis Avenue blaze in which three firefighters were seriously injured, a Department of Labor spokeswoman said."
"Deputy Chief Joseph Benoit has been appointed acting chief of the Greenwich Fire Department until further notice, according to First Selectman Jim Lash, who said Fire Chief Dan Warzoha is "away.""
"On almost any given day, police officers can be found scattered from Byram to Old Greenwich, directing traffic around construction and engineering projects and patrolling high school athletic games."
"Greenwich firefighters, according to Fire Chief Daniel Warzoha, are facing a new challenge: keeping on top of firefighting techniques when new houses keep getting bigger."
"Greenwich High School officials sought police help in maintaining order on campus during a week that included one assault and three arsons."
"After being in reserve for seven years, the Round Hill Fire Department's 1969 American LaFrance fire truck is going back on duty."