Skip to main content
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
I. ii. hi,, ,„, nf T.° N PUBLIC LIBRARY ^^ ^ ,-.
Illlllllllllllllllllll *~* '
3 9999 06316 867 6
[1JOCUMENT 11 — 1988]
for the period
January 1, 1988, to December 31, 1988
Boston, February 1, 1991
Hon. Raymond L. Flynn,
Mayor of Boston.
Dear Mr. Mayor:
I submit herewith the annual report of the Boston Fire Depart-
ment for the period January 1, 1988 to December 31, 1988.
The rebuilding program continued and antiquated apparatus
was replaced. In this calendar year, the Boston Fire Department
placed five new pieces of apparatus into service. This included one
engine pumper and four 110' aerial ladder trucks.
Multiple alarms were thirteen fewer than in calendar year 1987
and this can be credited to the rebuilding program of apparatus
and related fire equipment.
The department strength continued at approximately three
hundred firefighters on duty in every twenty-four hour period,
which is a top priority for the Boston Fire Department.
The present administration continues to be a tremendous asset
in our rebuilding program and for this we are extremely grateful.
Martin E. Pierce, Jr.,
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
Boston Public Library
Leo D. Stapleton
Chief of Operations
John D. White
Assistant to the Commissioner
Jeremiah J. Donovan
Executive Assistant to the Commissioner
Gerard J. Horgan
Department Medical Examiner
Alan W. Jenest, M.D.
Deputy Fire Chief in Charge
John A. Lockhead
Deputy Fire Chief in Charge
Fire Prevention Division
Fire Marshal Martin Fisher
Deputy Fire Chief in Charge
Special Services Division
Director of Civil Defense
Nino N. TIramontozzi
Deputy Fire Chief in Charge
Training, Maintenance and Research Division
Martin E. Pierce, Jr.
Superintendent of Fire Alarm Division
Robert J. McCarthy
Rev. Msgr. James J. Keating, Catholic
Rabbi Ira A. Korff, Jewish
Rev. Earl W. Jackson, Jr., Protestant
City Document No. 11
1) Executive Assistant's Office
2) Public Information
4) Budget/Fiscal Office
5) Executive Secretary's Office
6) Management Information Systems
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT'S OFFICE
The Office of the Executive Assistant's first line of responsibility
is to the Fire Commissioner/Chief of the Boston Fire Department.
The office assists in the administration of the Department and
makes recommendations for plans and policies. The Executive As-
sistant acts as the Commissioner's liaison with various divisions of
the Fire Department, City of Boston Departments, and state and
Commissioner/Chief Leo D. Stapleton continued his policy of
replacing antiquated equipment. The Boston Fire Department re-
ceived four 110-foot Aerial Ladder Trucks in June of 1988. These
ladder trucks were assigned to Ladder 1 in the North End, Ladder
11 in Brighton, Ladder 23 in Dorchester and Ladder 24 in Boston.
This brought the total replacement of apparatus, which began in
1984, to thirty-three Engine Pumpers, thirteen Ladder Trucks,
two Rescue Companies, and one 95' Aerial Tower Unit.
The on duty force averaged three hundred fire fighting person-
nel in any twenty-four hour period, a personal goal sought by
The Office of the Executive Assistant is responsible for the op-
erating budget and all capital bonding monies invested in the De-
partment. The operating budget for the fiscal year 1988 was
$74,837,121. Personal services encompassed the largest part of
the budget — $68,807,770.
This office oversees the work of all civilian employees. Depart-
ments include Auditing, the Executive Secretary's Office, Man-
agement Information Systems and Payroll. Personnel primarily
work at Headquarters and assist Department members and the
Total Personal Services
Total Contractual Services
Total Supplies and Materials
Total Current Charges
The Public Information Office serves as a connecting link be-
tween the Boston Fire Department and the people living and
working in Boston.
Most surveys and requests for information are directed to this
section. Research materials and information are gathered for doc-
umentaries, newspaper or magazine articles, radio, and television
programs. The Office acts as a liaison to the Greater Boston Fire
Safety Council, a group of Greater Boston business people whose
efforts assist the Boston Fire Department in fire safety education.
Arrangements are made to provide fire prevention and fire safety
materials to interested parties.
Departmental swearings-in, promotional ceremonies and
award presentations are coordinated. This section cooperates with
the Department Chaplains, the Church Committee, and the
Honor Guard in the preparation of dedications, memorials, fu-
nerals, and other spiritual functions.
The Boston Fire Department Headquarters Division consists of
five (5) sections under the direction of the Assistant to the Com-
missioner. These areas insure that the Department is operated in
an efficient manner.
The Accounting Office is responsible for all fiscal expenditure
forms and requests forwarded from the Boston Fire Department
Budget Office. These include service orders, non orders, requisi-
tions, purchase orders, change orders and contracts.
Records are kept of all transactions, expenditures and charges
as they occur. Balances are posted daily The section is in constant
communication with City Hall Departments such as Auditing,
Budget, Purchasing and Treasury and vendors to secure informa-
tion concerning payments, purchases and deliveries, account cod-
ing, and other changes.
6 City Document No. 1 1
The Budget Office is responsible for overseeing fiscal reports
generated by the Department, including projections, monthly
progress reports, spending plans, and changes as well as informa-
tion on the Mayor's priority goals.
Requisitions, service orders, non orders and contracts are re-
viewed and either approved or changes recommended. Quarterly
meetings were held with program managers to review their ex-
penditures and measurements.
Annual budget requests for the Boston Fire Department are
sent to this Office. The budget is then reviewed by the top level
managers of the Department. The Fire Commissioner, when satis-
fied with the fiscal year's budget, submits it to the Mayor for ap-
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY'S OFFICE
The Executive Secretary's Office maintains all personnel re-
cords, accounts and reports pertaining to the Department.
This section acts as the conduit for all matters relating to the
personnel system including salary adjustments, the hiring of new
employees, all fire fighter indemnifications, civil service matters
relative to appointments, and promotions.
The staff interprets collective bargaining agreements that may
result in step rate increases, vacation allowances, posting of vacan-
cies, worker's compensation, bonuses, leaves of absence, and re-
Motor vehicle accidents, damages to department property,
third-party payments, and charges to the Massachusetts Turnpike
Authority for departmental services are coordinated with the City
of Boston Law Department.
The personnel budget for each division of the department is
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS UNIT
The Management Information Systems Unit (MISU) coordi-
nates the electronic data processing operations of the Boston Fire
Department. These operations include the development and
maintenance of computer applications at Headquarters and Fire
A Wang VS Minicomputer is used at Fire Alarm to assist in dis-
patching operations and the identification of special hazards and
Fire Department 7
The Payroll Division's responsibility is to ensure that Depart-
ment personnel are paid accurately and on a timely basis.
Employees are assisted in making decisions on payroll deduc-
tions and medical and insurance options.
On receipt of subpoenas and insurance claims, this division
does the necessary research of employees' payroll records.
2) Medical Examiner's Office
3) Selection Unit
4) Personnel Assignment
5) Employees Assistance Program
The Personnel Division is divided into the following sections:
Administration, Medical Examiner's Officer, Selection Unit, Per-
sonnel Assignment and the Employees Assistance Program (EAP).
The Administration section is responsible for liaison with vari-
ous departments including: the Department of Personnel Admin-
istration, Local 718, the Law Department, and other departments
and local unions throughout the country. This division investigates
charges and grievances and follows them through at Labor Rela-
tions and Arbitration. A member of this office attends all Civil
Service disciplinary hearings, Selection Unit appeals, M.C.A.D.
cases, and court cases concerning the Boston Fire Department.
MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE
The Medical Examiner's Office came in contact with personnel
through office visits, physicals, Hepatitis B and flu shots. This sec-
tion is responsible for the security and maintenance of medical
files for the Department. The Hospital Representative made
numerous visits to hospitals to see members who have been
8 City Document No. 11
This unit is responsible for scheduling numerous examinations
and tests including: medical tests, strength/agility tests with the
State, physicals, screening interviews, and fingerprinting. Public
lotteries are held to place candidates on a list with tied marks.
Each person's application is reviewed and an in-depth background
investigation is conducted. The Department of Personnel Admin-
istration is contacted on all matters regarding hiring procedures.
The Selection Unit acts as a liaison with medical facilities for drug
testing purposes and also arranges drug tests for all Fire Fighters
on Probation. Fire Departments across the country are contacted
to compare hiring procedures.
This Office is responsible for the assignment of all Pool and Act-
ing Officers to vacancies which occur due to vacations, injured
leave, department business and other circumstances. All promo-
tions within the Department are coordinated with the Commis-
sioner's Office, Executive Secretary's Office, and the Department
of Personnel Administration. The assignment of all vacations
within the Department is coordinated with the Deputy Chiefs in
Divisions 1 and 2. The unit orders, assigns and distributes all
badges, hat devices, and lapel devices.
EMPLOYEES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
The Boston Fire Department/Local 718 EAP is a joint venture
between the Department and Local 718. Its primary purpose is to
assist the membership in addressing problems in the areas of: sub-
stance abuse, marital, legal, stress and financial. These services
are also offered to a member's family and retirees.
The EAP staff maintains services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The location of the EAP is at the Long Island Hospital. It is staffed
with one officer and three fire fighters who are certified in the
The staff addresses every fire house and fire college on an an-
nual basis. Each new drill class is spoken with. Many smaller de-
partments have been assisted in establishing EAPs. The BFD/
Local 718 EAP is responsible for assisting and establishing the
International Association of Fire Fighters' Committee on EAPs.
Fire Department 9
1 10TH ANNUAL BALL
The 110th Annual Ball and Awards Ceremony of the Boston
Fire Department was held on May 26th, 1989 at the Park Plaza
Hotel. Fire Fighter Daniel L. MacDougall, B.F.D. Betired, was the
Master of Ceremonies.
The following members were honored for their meritorious acts
AMEBICAN LEGION AWABD
Fire Captain James M. Flaherty, Headquarters
AWABD OF BECOGNITION
Fire Captain John J. McKenna, Engine Company 4
District Fire Chief Edmund G. Maiorana, District 5
District Fire Chief Kevin P. MacCurtain, District 5
Fire Lieutenant John F. Joyce, Bescue Company 1
DISTINGUISHED SEBVICE AWABD
Fire Fighter James B. Lavey, Ladder Company 19
Fire Fighter William D. Trojano, Ladder Company 11
Superintendent Dennis B. Flynn, Maintenance Division
Fire Fighter (Inspector) Isaac Hendricks,
Fire Prevention Division
Fire Fighter Bobert T Lynch, Engine Company 17
Fire Fighter William G. Austin, Engine Company 17
Fire Lieutenant Charles M. Parillo, Ladder Company 14
Fire Fighter Bichard F. Felton, Ladder Company 14
Fire Fighter Paul D. Hynes, Aide to District 12
JOHN E. FITZGEBALD MEDAL
FOB THE MOST MEBITOBIOUS ACT
BOSTON FIBE COMMISSIONEB'S AWABD
Fire Captain James M. Flaherty, Headquarters
City Document No. 11
FIRE PREVENTION DIVISION
License and Permit Section
Night Inspection Division
Fire Prevention Records
High Rise Sprinkler Retro Fit
Needless Alarm Reduction Program
Fire Investigation Unit
The Fire Prevention Division consists of many sections. The
following contains a brief overview of each area.
The District Inspectors inspect smoke detectors for the sale of
one- to five-family houses under Chapter 148 Section 26F. They
resolve complaints in their districts, review permits and licenses,
and issue abatements for violations.
The inspectors follow up on abatements that are sent in from
the field. Non compliance cases and code violations are resolved
through court action if necessary.
Other City departments are notified when a situation is ob-
served that should be brought to their attention through Form 65s.
The Fire Marshal meets with the Inspectional Services Depart-
ment Commissioner regularly to resolve conflicts.
LICENSE AND PERMIT SECTION
The License and Permit Section is responsible for conducting
inspections of facilities, businesses, and construction sites where
Fire Department permits are required. Permits are necessary for
such activities as the storage and handling of flammable and com-
bustible liquids, gasses, and solids; the construction or alteration
of any structure; placement of dumpsters; the handling of asbes-
tos; welding or cutting operations; the use, storage or handling of
explosive materials; and the installation or subsequent impair-
ment of fire protection or suppression systems.
Fire Department 11
As a direct result of aggressive permitting by this section, espe-
cially where construction and demolition take place, the fire inci-
dence at construction sites has gone from common every day prac-
tice to nil. A construction site has not required more than one
alarm since Rowe's Wharf in 1986.
A major part of making and keeping construction sites safe has
been solving the winter heating problem of these sites. This solu-
tion has involved substitution of steam and/or diesel in place of
both random and universal use of propane to heat buildings open
to the weather. This has been accomplished through the permit-
ting process, and again active and aggressive enforcement.
This section inspects licensed properties and serves as the Fire
Commissioner's designee for the City as an appointed member of
the Committee on Licenses.
This office is involved in the ongoing restructuring and expan-
sion of the permit and license system and utilizes its expertise to
develop codes and procedures to respond to complex fire-related
problems and hazards. As part of this, the Boston Fire Prevention
Code has been amended to reflect current thinking and practices.
527 CMR 9.00 mandated changes for underground storage fa-
cilities including requiring double walled tanks and piping, and
the retrofitting of old tanks with containment manholes, overfill
and cathodic protection. Quick lube centers fall under the same
Self service gas stations are now the responsibility of local Fire
Departments. This involves the approval of plans through the final
inspection before they are allowed to operate. A yearly inspection
The even numbered years create additional work. The State
Fire Marshal's stickers for tank trucks and other vehicles carrying
flammable/combustible liquids expire on August 31st of even
numbered years. Over 300 vehicles were inspected during the
With a growing concern world wide in our environment, we are
seeing constant change in federal and state regulations governing
underground tanks. There were almost 400 underground tanks
removed this year in the City. With new regulations going into
effect, we should see a big increase in underground tank work
throughout the City in the next few years. A reminder that all work
being done on underground tanks requires a permit from the Fire
12 City Document No. 1 1
Company officers in the field complete quarterly inspections of
hospitals and schools. Fire Prevention Inspectors assist them due
to the complexity of the occupancies involved. Abatements are
reviewed to insure that a location has complied with the Fire De-
partment's findings. Consultation and suggestions are made con-
cerning new construction or modifications to existing structures.
Fire education for a specific occupancy is provided to assist the
management in preventing fires.
There are a number of different occupancies, that due to their
size and potential life safety hazard, require special knowledge
and are assigned full time inspectors by the Boston Fire Depart-
ment. These include hospitals, hotels, schools, nursing homes, day
care centers, and laboratories. Legally mandated, routine inspec-
tions are made to insure code compliance, as well as a review of
Fire Department responses to these locations.
NIGHT INSPECTION DIVISION
The Night Inspection Division inspects approximately 1,600 fa-
cilities with a capacity of fifty (50) or more people. All places of
assembly are inspected quarterly. The busier night clubs are in-
spected weekend nights for overcrowding and other violations.
These events include concerts, live theater, the Boston Garden,
Fenway Park, the Hynes Auditorium, and college arenas.
The Boston Fire Department Plans Examiner provides a com-
prehensive review of building plans to insure compliance with
state and city codes. These codes include the Massachusetts State
Building Code, the Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations,
Chapter 148 of the Massachusetts General Laws — better known
as the Fire Prevention Laws, Fire Prevention Order 87-2 (Boston
Fire Alarm Regulations) and the Boston Fire Prevention Code.
Items reviewed include locations and requirements for fire hy-
drants, Fire Department vehicular access, automatic sprinkler
systems, fire alarm systems, and hazardous material storage.
Proper installation of these items provides safer buildings for oc-
cupants and fire fighters.
Meetings are held with building owners to discuss fire preven-
tion strategies. Technical assistance is given to other city and state
agencies. Involvement prior to building construction insures
building designs are consistent with the Boston Fire Depart-
ment's goals of protecting life and property.
The City of Boston is fortunate to a have a Fire Prevention Engi-
neer in training on its staff, affording the Boston Fire Department
a uniquely professional approach to fire safety, benefitting the
public's safety as well as fire fighter safety.
Fire Department 13
The Office of Fire Education is responsible for promoting pub-
lic awareness of fire safety and prevention.
Fairs, community meetings, senior groups, health care facilities,
schools, group centers, summer camps, tours, organizations, busi-
nesses, and day care centers are used to promote fire education.
Fire Department personnel share an understanding of the princi-
ples involved with fire safety.
Fire education covers topics such as smoke detectors, fire extin-
guishers, escape planning, smoking, and cooking safety. Individ-
uals are encouraged to pass this information onto their family,
friends, and neighbors.
In 1988, the Boston Fire Department in conjunction with the
National Fire Protection Agency, introduced the "Learn not to
Burn" curriculum in two elementary schools in East Boston: the
Patrick J. Kennedy School and the Hugh R. O'Donnell School.
The goal of the program was to teach children how to protect
themselves, their family members, their friends and others from
the hazards of fire. Children were taught to be responsible for the
protection of their own property as well as the property of others.
Our overall goal is to reduce the number of fatalities.
FIRE PREVENTION RECORDS
This section interacts with the public during business hours.
They assist fire victims, citizens applying for permits and licenses,
and provide research on inquiries.
Company commanders are notified by this section when in-
spections for certain occupancies are required. Data, including
inspection dates, is recorded for each occupancy.
For the year 1988, microfilming Fire Department records for
future use has been beneficial for the safe keeping of the following
documents: fire reports, fire alarm dispatch slips, arson reports,
underground storage tanks, complaints, chiefs reports, emer-
gency medical reports, licenses, abatements, permits and inter-
The use of microfiche has made it easier to access old records
and make copies of them. This system provides a legally accept-
able document for court cases and the public.
14 City Document No. 1 1
HIGH RISE SPRINKLER RETROFIT LAW
A serious fire at the Prudential in January 1986 led to a High
Rise Sprinkler Law which was passed and signed into law in the
Fall of 1987. It is officially known as Massachusetts General Law
— Chapter 148 — Section 26AV2 .
The wording of the law was questioned and a legal opinion was
sought on the condominium issue. Attorney General James Shan-
non ruled favorably on this issue in the Spring of 1988.
The owners of high rise buildings received literature about the
law and were required to make decisions regarding the sprinkler-
ing of their building. The compliance enforcement has met with
great success. All "classic" high rise buildings (15 or more stories)
are either fully sprinklered and alarmed or actively engaged in the
All work is to be completed by 1998. The threat of a "towering
inferno" will then be effectively eliminated in the City of Boston.
NEEDLESS ALARM REDUCTION PROGRAM
The Needless Alarm Reduction Program (NARP) started on
September 1, 1987 with the institution of Fire Prevention Order
87-2. Its intent was to reduce the number of responses of Boston
Fire Department personnel and apparatus to needless alarms.
Alarm system malfunctions caused by sprinklers, smoke detec-
tors, and heat detectors at properties with central stations and
master boxes are addressed by this program.
An ordinance requiring mandatory fines for needless fire alarm
responses was passed unanimously by the Boston City Council in
1988. This legislation became an integral part of the Needless
Alarm Reduction Program and became effective January 1, 1989.
Numerous locations have made significant improvements to
their safety systems, relocated smoke detectors, and decreased
their sensitivity. Engineers, facility managers, and fire safety offi-
cials have all helped make an impact on needless alarm reduc-
The fine process has made it financially prudent for many prop-
erty owners to address their problem rather than continue to pay
fees to the City.
The duties and responsibilities of the Chemist include the de-
velopment and implementation of regulations based on the Fire
Prevention Code, Article IX, Decorations, Furnishings and Inte-
rior Finish, and Article XX, Hazardous Materials and the estab-
lishment of an analytical laboratory to support fire investigation.
The Chemist participates in ongoing programs in the Fire Preven-
tion Division, the Training, Maintenance and Research Division
and the Special Services Division.
Fire Department 15
FIRE PREVENTION LARORATORY
The establishment of the Fire Prevention Laboratory was ac-
complished in accordance with the order of the Fire Commis-
sioner following the mandate of the Mayor in February 1984. The
Laboratory is operated under the direction of a full time profes-
sional forensic chemist. Laboratory reports and the testimony of
the Senior Analytical Chemist are accepted in criminal cases pros-
ecuted in Suffolk County. The Senior Analytical Chemist has re-
sponded to major fires to assist the Fire Prevention Unit in its
selection of material for analysis. The laboratory has enhanced the
ability of the Fire Department to successfully investigate and
prosecute arson cases.
CONTROL OF DECORATIONS, FURNISHINGS,
AND INTERIOR FINISH
The Department Chemist has continued the development and
implementation of controls on combustible building contents un-
der the authority of Article IX of the Fire Prevention Code.
The regulations for upholstered furniture have received na-
tional recognition and have played a major role in the develop-
ment of standardized full scale test procedures. These new tests
are the focus of a national effort to control furniture in hotels,
hospitals, entertainment facilities and other regulated occupan-
A potential fire hazard in hospital bedding was uncovered and
investigated. Hospitals were contemplating the use of foam pads
of substantial size on top of mattresses to reduce the incidence of
bed sores. Tests were performed with pads and hospital mattresses
and the potential fire hazard of the pads was confirmed. It was
further determined that some of the mattresses routinely used by
hospitals constituted a fire hazard. The existing regulation for mat-
tresses for hotels and dormitories was extended to hospitals. The
foam pads used in hospitals are regulated.
In addition to the classification of materials by performance of
fire test, considerable effort was expended to inform and commu-
nicate with architects, designers, purchasing agents and sales or-
ganizations the importance of the Fire Department regulations
and procedures for compliance. This work was recognized in
Fire Prevention activities include the Laboratory Safety Pro-
gram, the Regulations Controlling the Transportation of Hazard-
ous Materials, and the permit/license controls for the storage and
use of hazardous materials.
16 City Document No. 1 1
Training, Research, and Maintenance activities include being
responsible for the specifications used to procure protective cloth-
ing and equipment and making field evaluations of newly devel-
oped protective clothing. The Chemist takes part in the special
training exercises conducted for fire companies and chief officers
who respond to major hazardous materials incidents. He serves on
committees designated to prepare Standard Operating Proce-
dures for hazardous material incidents.
The Department has a technical specialist on-call for response
to hazardous material incidents. Five (5) members of the fire fight-
ing force have the technical expertise and training to handle these
FIRE INVESTIGATION UNIT
The Fire Investigation Unit (FLU.) responds to fires, other
Boston Fire Department incidents, citizens' complaints, delivers
charges, and follows up on investigations. Members respond to
calls of fire personnel being harassed at an incident.
The FLU. has the ability to do searches of paper trails on differ-
ent properties. This allows them to get a better handle on arson-
for-profit, which has a tendency to increase as the economy and
real estate values are depressed. The Unit is tracking high risk
properties in the hope of preventing arson from occurring.
The total number of incidents responded to by the Fire Investi-
gation Unit in 1988 was 863. The breakdown is as follows:
Cause given 299
The above resulted in the following:
Court Cases 254
The numbers above do not reflect responses to citizen com-
plaints, delivering charges, follow up investigations, interviews
and other services provided by Unit members. Assistance is given
to Fire Prevention Inspectors when requested. Members also re-
spond to assist fire companies when police are requested for har-
The Major Case Unit continues to be an effective tool in investi-
gation follow ups and enabling the apprehension of people respon-
sible for arson, attempts to burn and fraud.
The Unit remains involved with the Boston Arson Prevention
Commission (B.A.P.C.) in assessing possible arson locations and
suspicious, persons. B.A.P.C. receives tips and anonymous calls
which are forwarded to the Fire Investigation Unit.
Fire Department 17
Community liaison is a part of the Unit's activities. Members
attend meetings in the neighborhoods throughout the city. Arson
or potential arson problems are discussed.
Due to enforcement of Chapter 44, which pertains to the re-
porting of vehicle fires, the total number of vehicle fires (incident
types 130 and 131) has been steadily decreasing, as has the num-
ber of suspicious, incendiary and undetermined vehicle fires.
1986 1987 1988
Total: (incident types
130 & 131) 4,027 3,477 2,651
Estimated loss $13,891,725 $12,070,054 $9,789,193
Total: (ignition factors
00-11-21) 3,443 2,943 2,149
Total estimated loss $12,760,085 $10,770,284 $8,430,693
The reduction in incident types 130 and 131 is as follows:
1986 to 1987: 14% decrease
1987 to 1988: 24% decrease
1986 to 1988: 32% decrease
Due to the high dollar loss, the time spent on investigation of
vehicle fires, with resulting apprehension and arrest of persons
setting these fires, seems well spent. We have been working dili-
gently to attempt to have burnt vehicles towed more promptly so
that fire companies are not responding two or three times for the
same vehicle. Ideally, we would like to see them removed before
they are burnt again so that fire companies are not needlessly oc-
cupied. So far, despite the Unit's efforts and those of the Boston
Arson Prevention Commission, we have been unsuccessful.
TRAINING MAINTENANCE &
1) Department Training Program
2) Protective Breathing Equipment
3) New Equipment
4) Field Evaluation of Safety Equipment
5) Research and Evaluation
6) Servicing and Repair Programs
7) Driver Safety and Training Program
8) Harzardous Material Training Program
18 City Document No. 1 1
TRAINING, MAINTENANCE & RESEARCH DIVISION
The primary function of the Training, Maintenance, and Re-
search Division is twofold:
1) To initiate and supervise the job development of the fire
fighter, commencing with the probationary period and continuing
throughout his career.
2) To become involved in research programs designed to im-
prove fire fighting techniques, fire fighting apparatus and equip-
ment, and protection of fire fighters; to prepare specifications for
new fire apparatus; to test and evaluate newly acquired fire appa-
ratus; and to test and evaluate new tools and appliances before
recommending their use in the Department.
DEPARTMENT TRAINING PROGRAM
Recruit training for 1988 totaled 36 new trainees for the Boston
Fire Department and eight new trainees from outside towns total-
ing 44 fire fighters on probation. The class was held from January
27 through March 31, 1988. A total of nine (9) weeks of intensive
training was held at the John A. Martin Fire Academy, Moon Is-
land. All new recruits were tested and graduated on April 1, 1988.
In addition to the training of the new recruit classes at the Fire
Academy, a constant program of instruction and drills are held at
both the company level and at the Academy.
The Maze located at the Fire Academy was used from January
through August to complete the training of the 4.5 Air Mask for all
Department members. The Portable Maze was put in operation in
October 1988 at the quarters of Engine 2 in District 6 for the
required training of the 4.5 Air Mask for 1989. The Portable Maze
will be moved to various fire districts in the city until every mem-
ber has completed the requirement.
A drill on respiratory protective equipment was conducted by
the Training Officers of every fire company in the city. This drill
was a basic review of the S.O.P. 32, 32A, 32B which covers the
care, maintenance, and operation of the 4.5 Air Mask.
A lecture and video presentation on Fire Fighter Safety was
conducted by a District Chief from the Safety Division. Every
member and all Chief Officers in the Department received this
training on Fire Fighter Safety.
Each fire company equipped with the Rescue Survival Suit was
drilled on the correct operation and maintenance of the Survival
Suit according to S.O.P. 44 by the Training Officer from the Fire
Academy. The drill was conducted at Jamaica Pond, Turtle Island,
Orient Heights, Kelly's Landing and the MDC boat ramp on Non-
antum Road. Both companies, in a house that had a survival suit,
participated in the drill.
Fire Department 19
Fire College for all Company Officers and Acting Officers was
held at Memorial Hall, Headquarters. Subjects covered included
matters relating to the Personnel Division, Safety Division, the
Employee Assistance Program, Fire Prevention, Administrative
Division, Training Division and Fireground Procedures.
A Vehicle Extrication drill was held for all companies who carry
the Hurst Tool, Amkus Tool or Hamatro Tool. A thirty-minute
video was shown prior to the actual on hands drill.
A Vehicle Extrication Course was held at Memorial Hall for the
classroom video presentation and the actual on hands training was
held at the Fire Academy. The course provided training in the
overall aspects of vehicle extrication, use of power tools, hand tools
and patient care.
All engine companies and the Tower Unit were trained at the
Fire Academy in the principles of Foam operations. Every mem-
ber received training in foam operations with the use of hand lines
and heavy stream appliances. Engine companies with the Mini X
Foam nozzle (High Expansion) and both the IV2 " and 2 V2 " pick
up tube were also drilled on the foam procedure.
Engine companies were drilled at the Academy on the proper
procedure for operation of the Hydrant Assist Valve and also on
the correct drafting procedure. Ladder companies and the Tower
Unit were drilled on the proper technique for raising and lowering
ground ladders (28', 35', 40') roof ladders, dogging of ladders, rais-
ing and lowering the aerial ladder to the roof, and the ladder pipe
All ladder companies and the Tower Unit were steam cleaned,
weight tested, lubricated, and checked for any defects at the Fire
Academy by the Maintenance Division.
An Arson Seminar, with the actual burning of automobiles at the
Fire Academy, was held.
Training on the proper operation and familiarization of new
Emergency One Aerial Ladders (Ladders 1, 11, 23, 24) and new
Emergency One Pumps (Engines 7 and 49) was completed.
All Engine Companies were given a familiarization drill of the
standpipe connections and hydrant locations to Sumner and
PROTECTIVE BREATHING EQUIPMENT
S.O.P 32, 32A, 32B and 32C was revised effective November 1,
The harness on all the 4.5 Air Tanks in the department have
been replaced with the Kevlar flame resistant type harness.
A maintenance program was initiated in December 1988 for all
air masks to have a complete maintenance check of all parts and to
be tested prior to being returned to service.
Hydrostatic testing of all air cylinders is an ongoing process and
every air cylinder is hydrostatically tested every three years.
20 City Document No. 1 1
The following equipment has been placed in service:
Around the Pump Proportioner (Foam) — Engine 7 drilled at
Fire Academy and now in use.
Engine 20 had its piping arrangement overhauled and added a
feed booster tank directly from hydrant and a connection to en-
able the engine to get foam directly from container.
All engine companies have been supplied with 300 feet of 1 % "
synthetic rubber hose and 200 feet of 1 l A " synthetic rubber hose.
All ladder companies have been given 300 feet of 1 % " cotton
FIELD EVALUATION OF SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Field testing of the Globe fire coat and night hitch as a complete
protection package was conducted. The Carns-Firefighter coat
with two outer shells, nomex and neoprene, was evaluated.
The Cairns & Brothers New Yorker N6A1 Sam Houston fire
helmet was tested.
A new non-skid safety sole for better contact with different sur-
faces from Ranger Rubber Company was evaluated. Ranger
FIRE WALKERS leather work boots were field tested for practica-
bility in the fire service. Servus brand fire boots with Urethane
insulation were field tested.
Testing of gloves produced by the Shelby- Wolverine Company
with an outer shell of 3 ounce reverse grain pigskin was con-
ducted. Gloves submitted by the Shelby- Wolverine Company with
an outer shell of tanned cowhide were evaluated. Two different
styles of leather work duty gloves made by Firecraft Inc. were field
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Biosystem Posicheck is a computerized test bench used to dy-
namically check the performance of fully assembled supplied air
respirators and on SCBA and print out results.
An evaluation was conducted at the Fire Academy of the 35 foot
(3-Section) ground ladder by seven different ladder companies.
SERVICING AND REPAIR PROGRAMS
A year round service and repair program is conducted by this
division on all fire fighting equipment, tools, and appliances at our
repair facilities at Headquarters and at the Fire Academy.
Fire Department 21
DRIVER SAFETY AND TRAINING PROGRAM
Driver training was scheduled by the District Fire Chiefs for all
companies in their respective districts for weekend day tours.
Driver training is given to any fire company whose deputy recom-
mends it after an accident hearing at the Division. All new re-
cruits, starting with the class of March 1989, will complete the
driver training course.
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL TRAINING PROGRAM
Under Title III, there are mandatory training requirements for
fire personnel which involve a minimum of 24 hours per year for
all members of the fire fighting divisions and 40 hours per year for
members of special response teams.
The program was started in November of 1988. Training guides
have been issued to each fire company and video tapes to each
District Fire Chief for distribution to companies on a monthly
schedule to meet the required drill period.
DRESS CLOTHING ISSUED
Deputy Chief sack coats 5
Officer's sack coats 50
Fire Fighter's sack coats 125
Dress trousers 250
White dress shirts 340
Light blue dress shirts 250
Navy blue shirts 275
SAFETY EQUIPMENT ISSUED
Fire coats 178
Fire boots 210 pair
Work gloves 1,789 pair
Short sleeve fire resistive
station uniform shirts 1,687
Fire Fighter sweatshirts 1,691
Fire resistive work trousers 1,684
22 City Document No. 1 1
SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION
1) Planning and Logistics
2) Fire Alarm Section
SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION
The Boston Fire Department undertook a reorganization of the
Fire Alarm Division, which consists of the Fire Alarm Office and
the Fire Alarm Construction Unit, and the Planning and Logistics
Division, which consists of Civil Defense, the Water and Hydrants
Unit, the Elevator Unit, the Fire Department Emergency Medical
Services Unit, the Underwater Recovery Team and the Local
Emergency Planning Unit into the Special Services Division
PLANNING AND LOGISTICS
In 1988, the Planning and Logistics Division began a program
of computerization of the fire hydrants in the city, both munici-
pally owned and privately owned. This program will allow the Fire
Department to identify those hydrants subject to damage by vehi-
cles and/or vandals as well as keeping an inventory of hydrants
used at incidents and the condition found during such use. The
annual inspection of hydrants by fire companies throughout the
city will be monitored.
The Elevator Safety Officer has been attending the State Eleva-
tor Safety Board's meetings in order to assure the incorporation of
safety measures that are of concern to the Fire Department. These
issues are mainly in the fire fighter's key switch phases I and II and
the safety of fire fighters working about the elevators when people
are trapped within an elevator that has malfunctioned. These
issues will remain a concern of the elevator safety officer until
The Emergency Medical Services Section made advancements
in the area of Emergency Medical Technician (E.M.T) training
while assisting in the recertification of E.M.T.s by the State Office
of Emergency Medical Services. Yearly retraining of fire fighters in
first responder courses and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscita-
tion) courses was continued to meet federal and state mandates.
The Underwater Recovery Team (S.C.U.B.A.) has continued to
assist in the search and rescue efforts of victims reported to be in
any of the waters of the City of Boston. They also have done survey
work on the piers and wharves of the harbor to assist in the re-
moval of navigational hazards found in these areas. The Team sur-
veys the underside of the Fire Department's Marine Units ("Fire-
Fire Department 23
fighter" and "St. Florian") in addition to handling requests by
other governmental agencies for similar types of surveys.
The Local Emergency Planning Unit arranged the Local Emer-
gency Planning Committee's (L.E.P.C.) Hazardous Materials Drill
in October of 1988. The drill proved that the City of Boston has a
workable hazardous material incident plan and will continue to
upgrade the plan in order to be able to handle any and all types of
such incidents whenever and wherever they might occur. The
L.E.P.C. submitted the city's plan to the area office of Civil De-
fense by the designated date prescribed in the Superfund
Reauthorization Act of 1986.
The Civil Defense Director took part in many Civil Defense
Planning Sessions with the state offices of Civil Defense. The Civil
Defense Unit undertook a survey of facilities within the City of
Boston and will begin to upgrade said facilities needed and phase
out those facilities where not practical. The Civil Defense Unit
also participated in "Civix" 88 as part of the Civil Defense
FIRE ALARM SECTION
The Fire Alarm Section is responsible for the installation, main-
tenance and operation of the vast emergency communications
network incorporated by the Boston Fire Department. This is ac-
complished through the activities of four (4) subsections: Opera-
tions, Radio Shop, Construction, and Inside Wiremen.
FIRE ALARM OPERATIONS
The Operating Force of the Fire Alarm Section dispatched ap-
paratus to 49,969 incidents during 1988, of these 60 were working
fires and 60 required transmission of multiple alarms.
Fire Alarm personnel are involved with nationally recognized
associations concerned with the many facets of public safety com-
munications by serving on various committees, attending semi-
nars and participating in sponsored workshops. These activities
afford the members an opportunity to keep abreast of the many
advancements in emergency communications technology such as
Computer Aided Dispatch systems, Enhanced 9-1-1 and fiber op-
tic cable applications.
Four (4) Motorola Centracom Series II Consoles were installed
in March 1988. Features include the following:
8 channels — four of which operate in Half-Duplex Mode
Simulcasting on any combination of channels
3 preset simulcast modes/set by operator
24 City Document No. 11
1 button paging of up to 125 units
Private line disable when paging
Phone patch capability
Intercom system between consoles
Multiple repeater sites for each channel
Repeater disable function
Special location repeaters/tunnels
Voter-Comparator receive system
Uninterruptible Power Supply
The following equipment is also installed in each of the
NYNEX 80 line Centrex Telephone
Dicataphone Call-Check/endless loop recorder
Wang VS-65 Dispatch/Reference computer terminal
Digitize remote alarm terminal
Radio Channel Assignments
Channel 1 483.1625 General radio traffic
Channel 2 483.1875 Fireground
Channel 3 483.2125 Fireground
Channel 4 483.2375 High-Rise Evacuation/FAO Construction
Channel 5 453.650 Dispatch
Channel 6 1 53 . 890 Paging
Channel 7 154.220 Mutual Aid/Metro Fire
Channel 8 153.890 MBTA Subway Radio System
Four (4) consoles capable of receiving alarms and transmitting
boxes were installed in March 1988.
This system handles - 97 Box circuits
9 Mutual Aid circuits
20 Alarm circuits
17 E.V.C.S. circuits
Features include - Hard copy of all system activity
Ability to receive and store multiple boxes
Decode acknowledgments from fire houses
Uninterruptable Power Supply
FIRE ALARM CONSTRUCTION
The last portion of the Southwest Corridor MBTA project was
completed in the Forest Hill Station area. This included installing
1,500 feet of 37 Conductor Cable at no cost to the City of Boston.
Cable was rerouted in the City Square area from its present
location to a new location due to reconstruction and the Central
Artery Project. Cable was also rerouted at Post Office Square due
to a major reconstruction project.
Fire Department 25
Plans were reviewed for cable routing to new housing develop-
ments in Roslindale - Hyde Park and Allendale Wood (Jamaica
Plain) for installing new Fire Alarm street boxes. Plans were exam-
ined for proposed new Fire Alarm street boxes and on Haul Road
for the new Third Harbor Tunnel Project.
Plans were reviewed regarding the equipment that will be
needed to furnish the new fire house on Purchase Street.
There are 1,350 Fire Alarm street boxes in existence and 1,017
master boxes connected to the city system.
New cable was installed during the year replacing defective
Rural C 3,650 feet
4 Conduct Cable 23,210 feet
6 Conduct Cable 1 ,500 feet
7 Conduct Cable 2,050 feet
10 Conduct Cable 20,430 feet
19 Conduct Cable 16,450 feet
37 Conduct Cable 8,800 feet
61 Conduct Cable 800 feet
Total Footage 76,980 feet
Fire Alarm Roxes Knocked Down 182
Fire Alarm Roxes Repaired/Replaced 1,272
New Fire Alarm Roxes Installed in Harbor Point 4
Citv Roxes Tested 2,810
The Radio Shop is responsible for the installation, maintenance
and testing of all wireless communication equipment and associ-
ated electronic hardware utilized by this Department.
Radio Shop personnel were involved in a number of mainte-
nance and ungrading projects such as: relocating radio and public
address system equipment to allow more efficient operation and
easier access for maintenance, participating in a cooperative effort
with telephone company personnel for upgrading radio loop cir-
cuits, periodic testing of fire subway radio systems and the re-
vamping of fire house alerting systems by replacing electron tubes
with a solid state integrated circuit made up by shop personnel.
Issued new portable radios 7
Installed new base stations at various locations 6
Repaired/replaced speakers 159
Readjusted satellite receiver at various locations 4
Issued new pagers 7
26 City Document No. 11
Repaired mobile/portable radios 262
Removed equipment from apparatus 8
Installed new radios in cars and apparatus 10
Repaired sirens 65
Repaired portable radio mis's 15
Issued portable radios to District for details 12
Installed new channel 1 - 3 & 4 receivers at Filene's
Installed new consoles at Fire Alarm
The Inside Wiremen are responsible for the installation and
maintenance of all electrical wiring and the associated apparatus
and appliances, including the internal Centrex telephone system
of the Department.
The expanded use of computers within the Department re-
quired the installation of cable and peripheral equipment at Fire
Department facilities. Fire Alarm was equipped with an Uninter-
ruptable Power Supply for the Wang computer system.
The main floor of Fire Alarm required new wiring with the in-
stallation of the new Form 4 Digitize Fire Alarm System.
Electrical equipment for the new Marine Unit location in
Charlestown was put in place.
The Maze, a portable training exercise, required a lot of time
and effort to meet all of its needs. It was necessary to find a means
for portable power wherever it was in use.
The Lighting Plant was stripped and rewired from top to bot-
tom. This truck, a former Pepsi truck, was donated to the Depart-
ment. It is used at many fires. Portable lighting was another
28 City Document No. 11
COMPARISON OF INCIDENT TYPES
Fires or Explosions
Good Intent Calls
50,870 49,969 - 901
* No Significant %
** Incident Types for Detector Incidents have been changed and these
figures reflect those changes.
FIVE INCIDENT TYPES
WITH THE MOST OCCURRENCES
Rank Type Description Total Incs.
1 710 False Alarm - Box 6,385 12.8
2 733 Smoke Detector Device
Operated - No Fire 4,126 8.3
3 731 Alarm System Malfunction -
Smoke Detector 3,511 7.0
4 321 Medical Assist 3,328 6.7
5 592 Public Service 3,291 6.6
1 710 False Alarm - Box 7,132 14.0
2 731 Alarm System Malfunction
Smoke Detector 4,088 8.0
3 671 Smoke Detector Device
Operated - No Fire 3,477 6.8
4 592 Public Service 3,353 6.6
5 130 Road Transport Vehicle
Fire - Passenger 3,311 6.5
RANKING OF WORKING FIRES
AND MULTIPLE ALARMS
COMRINED BY DISTRICT
City Document No. 11
COMPARISON OF ALARM LEVELS
AND MULTIPLE ALARMS COMRINED
COMPARISON OF ALARM LEVELS
Fire Department 31
TOTAL RUNS PER COMPANY
TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL
ENGINE RUNS LADDER RUNS MISC. RUNS
NOTE: This report tallies only responses to the scene of an
incident. Covering is not recorded here.
32 City Document No. 11
City of Chelsea
City of Somerville
Town of Dedham
Town of Brookline
City of Cambridge
City of Newton
Town of Milton
City of Revere
City of Quincy
Town of Winthrop
City of Everett
Town of Needham
Town of Braintree
City of Maiden
CITY OF BOSTON c^^p^ PRINTING SECTION