WPB Fire Emergency

You  hope it never comes to your neighborhood, but eventually it does. You have an elderly neighbor who becomes ill and taken to a hospital, discharged after a week and sent home. All is well again, until it’s not.

This happened in my neighborhood and after being discharged from the hospital my neighbor became to weak to walk and slept on the couch his first night home.

The next morning his wife and son found him on the floor and being unable to lift him called 911. Of course the WPB Firefighter/ Paramedics responded as always.

My first observation was Captain Dylan Michelini, Drive Engineer John Wilson and Firefighter Stephanie Rosario all arrived wearing masks while the family were mask less. I realize at a time like this they are in panic mode and face masks are the last thing on their mind. I mention this for the sole reason of pointing out how dangerous their jobs can be.

The equipment came out and his vitals were checked and the family was advised all were good, and transport back to the hospital wasn’t needed. Then came the above and beyond the call to duty.

Captain Michelini made numerous suggestions such as remove the area rugs due to a tripping hazard, and also to acquire a seat walker to assist my neighbor being able to be more independent and his fear of falling. When the 2 men lifted him Firefighter Rosario placed her feet in front of his feet to prevent him from sliding forward when he was lifted and placed on the coach. Another suggestion was have him sit on a chair as the couch was low and harder to life himself up.

These three Firefighters took the time to insure the family understood the process of keeping their husband and father safe. A typical day in the life of a Firefighter, but extremely stressful for the family.

I recently attended the meeting between the Police and the City  in their negations for a new contract. They advanced as far as the Firefighters did. Both contracts expired Sept. 30,2020, and soon it will be 4 months without a new contract, pay raise or benefits.

The city skyline is alive with cranes putting up  new buildings and the City Commissioners just approved $1.8 million to add an additional 600 jobs to downtown. Are we growing at fast rate? I checked and here’s the answer.

With a 2020 population of 112,852, it is the 19th largest city in Florida and the 263rd largest city in the United States. West Palm Beach is currently growing at a rate of 0.80% annually and its population has increased by 12.94% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 99,919 in 2010. WOW! Guess what hasn’t grown? The WPB Fire and Police Departments. 

Police Dept.  Remember the $7.9 million no bid contract for PSC Security Guards? In the end PSC received the contract for $9,045,086.50. When James was questioned on the increase of over one million dollars he claimed the cost of living wage was to increase to $15.00/hour. OK, so why are the taxpayer paying the increase? Should the owner of PSC be paying the increase from their profits, and not the taxpayer’s pockets? That is the reason our police officers are having difficulty gaining a new contract. James preferred giving our dollars to PSC rather than the police officers who guard the city.

Fire Dept.  James claims we have new fire trucks and stations and that’s a good thing and I thank the City Commissioners for voting approval but what the hell are new stations and fire engines good for if we don’t have men/women to manage them?

Is Mayor James even aware of the low morale in both departments? Does he care? Does he feel responsible? No, he doesn’t. Why does he do the things he does? Because he can, who’s to stop him?