Entries Tagged 'SFFD' ↓

Will the SFPD get serious about fireworks violations this year?

I first want to clarify something, I’m NOT a fun hater. As a child growing up, fireworks at my grandparents farm was a BIG tradition. My uncle and grandpa would buy tons of fireworks. My grandparents acreage was about a mile out of town and we would NEVER shoot them in town. Fireworks are fun, if enjoyed properly.

I guess it’s not the noise that bothers me the most about people illegally shooting fireworks in city limits, its the fire hazard. I keep telling people, do we have to wait until an entire neighborhood burns down and several people die before we get serious about fireworks in town and the fire hazard they cause?

While we cry and complain about 8 inch grass, guess what, if that grass gets to be 9 inches, it won’t burn down your house.

The SFPD does have a good argument when it comes to cracking down on the problem; they have to catch them in the act, I get it. My suggestion to them and the city council last year was they used unmarked police cars and plain clothes officers to catch the offenders in the act when responding to complaints. When people see flashing lights coming down the street, the first thing they do is hide the fireworks. Duh.

I just find it extremely hypocritical calling people BAD NEIGHBORS because they have 9 inch grass, but if those same neighbors are creating a fire hazard in your neighborhood the police just say, ‘Oh Well.’

So please, don’t shoot off banned fireworks in city limits, and if you do, I hope the SFPD catches you and fines you accordingly.

Phantom Directors of Health and EMS quality talk Phantom Ambulances

It’s Alive! Sioux Falls Health Director, Bride of Franken

As if they caught the ghost of Tuthill Park, suddenly Jill and Julie decided to show up to a meeting and start splaining what an ambulance is, and what it does (Notice they are calling this the ‘101’ course on ambulance contracts with ParaPhantom Plus). As if our city council and public are so naive.

The public is ignorant because there has been ZERO information provided to them. It’s about that whole transparency thing I speak of, like if you are a SFPO and you accidentally shoot at a shadow in the dark, yah tell someone . . . wait.

It will be fun to listen to the Double J’s tell us what we already know; Greed is why Paramedics Plus has convinced Metro 911 to not call in mutual aid (there’s a couple of other reasons also).

Why does this all seem like an episode of ‘Scooby Doo’?

New Fire Chief Questions

Maybe the city council needs to be asking appointed fire chief Goodroad these questions Tuesday Night during his approval process by the city council.

1. Property loss caused by fire damage has almost tripled in the last three years, what is your plan to reduce/reverse this trend? (Other than focusing on increasing the department’s social media presence?)

Data from the Department’s Annual Reports:

Fire Property  Loss


Not published yet


$  4,500,000


$  3,176,788


$  2,536,859

2.  What was the fire property loss for 2016? (The department has the data, it just hasn’t been published yet). (If he is taking the job seriously, he should have looked at the numbers before going into this meeting).

3.  When you managed the fire department’s training center, you advocated and followed a 4-day work week as much as possible for yourself and your staff. How did that best serve the department’s mission? Do you plan on working that schedule as fire chief?

4.  As of the last published Standards of Coverage manual (2015), the department was not meeting its required response times for re-accreditation  for medical calls, all code 3 & 4 calls, and Hazmat calls (See attachment). What is your plan to ensure the department is reaccredited?

These are just the questions that come up by looking at the Annual Report and Standards of Cover manual for 20 minutes. Imagine what someone who actually had access to the department performing a forensic audit could come up. So why is the Mayor going to put a clone of Sideras in there who might let the union run the show just like Sideras did the entire time he was chief.

Sadly most citizens really don’t care about the fire department. They can live off the goodwill of one big rescue operation for a long time even when realistically they are performing horribly (the numbers don’t lie).

Medical board member unknowingly makes case for public ambulance

Sumption’s attempt to defend Paramedics Plus may ultimately make the case for a public ambulance;

Police officers, often first on the scene in emergencies, are trained in first aid as well as procedures like CPR, the use of defibrillators and applying strategies to stabilize a patient. Police can assess the medical status of an individual and call in additional support if it hasn’t already been requested or dispatched.

Paramedics Plus, the fourth level of emergency care, provides stabilization and transportation for people who require hospital services.

Notice who the first three entities that are involved with an emergency call are, PUBLIC entities. Metro Communications (911), Police and Fire, all of which are subsidized by taxpayers. So wouldn’t it just make sense for the fourth and final entity to be Public also?

And the argument gets even stronger with this statement;

Sioux Falls benefits from an integrated emergency medical system that not only works very well, but is also very respectful of taxpayers’ money. Sioux Falls spends no city money on ambulance service other than the cost of quality oversight. None. Citizens don’t need to pay personnel or buy, supply and maintain ambulances and facilities. Only users of the transport service are billed as used.

This of course is only partially true. We actually are subsidizing the FOR-PROFIT ambulance service by being the first responders, but are receiving NO compensation for that subsidy.

Our contracted ambulance provider takes on all that expense and risk, while holding the city harmless for any costs.

Who takes on the risk if an ambulance doesn’t arrive but the SFPD and SFFD does? Well your guess is probably as good as mine. We do.

The way the system is set up now, as Sumption described in great detail, taxpayers are subsidizing the ambulance service with NO payback except fines while PP cashes in on the transport. If we went with a public ambulance service through the SFFD at least there would be some kind of reimbursement from patients, Medicare, VA or insurance. Right now we receive NOTHING for our assistance. I actually believe, as Sumption laid out, that if we went with a public ambulance service, not only would it be better and more regulated, it would probably be cheaper (the profit factor would be thrown out) and the city would ultimately be reimbursed for it’s services.

Isn’t it time we sent our FOR-PROFIT ambulance service packing and replace it with a public ambulance service that has a proven record of SHOWING UP?

Sioux Falls City Councilor Starr goes into more detail about Phantom Ambulances

So while the public has several questions about the ‘980’ calls, REMSA takes the month off, while Public Health Director, Franken hides under her desk sending out press releases.


Sioux Falls New Fire Chief, Goodroad says Canton is a good community to raise children in

I know what you are thinking, that was really nice of him to say such a gracious thing about our neighboring town that doesn’t employee him for 6 figures a year.

So why would he say this?

Well according to a SF City Councilor who recently spoke with the new chief, this was his response when the councilor asked him why he lives in Canton instead of Sioux Falls (maybe hinting the new fire chief should probably live here and spend his 6-figure salary here instead of in Canton).

WOW! What a vote of confidence from the guy who now is in charge of fighting fires and disasters in Sioux Falls. It’s much better in Canton. Maybe we should have lured Canton’s Fire Chief to come work for us instead?

This of course brings up my old beef about city department heads living in Sioux Falls. Maybe our tax revenue is down in boomtown because all these 6-figure directors don’t spend their bread here?

Goodroad was going to become fire chief anyway. Rumor has it he was endorsed by the Union President and Sideras way before Jim announced his retirement. It was no split second decision by the mayor to appoint Brad as temp Fire Chief and ultimately giving him the job full-time.

I think it is time to recommend to the next Charter Revision Commission that we incorporate a new city ordinance that requires city directors to live in the jurisdiction of Sioux Falls, or at least those that deal with safety, like the Chief of Police and Fire. This is just makes sense folks.

Will Sioux Falls new Fire Chief have any conflicts with Sideras?

Hizzoner is going to be appointing a new Fire Chief today (no hugs please). According to early reports, they will be picking the chief form an internal pool. While there is nothing wrong with that process, some are asking if the mayor’s choice has any investments tied in with Sideras on real estate or other assets?

Hopefully this part of the interview has been vetted, and we will see if our local media asks the question today at the press conference.

UPDATE: How can Sideras get his full pension?

The HR director of the city of Sioux Falls, Bill Dah’Toole, says Sideras gets his full pension. (Watch all 3 of KSFY’s videos) While I understand getting his ‘vested’ pension, I question if a terminated director who is accused of child pornography should receive one more penny of tax dollars with his pension or extended healthcare. But the bigger question is, was he terminated or did Huether ‘cut a deal’. Notice Huether NEVER said he fired Jim, only that he ‘in-acted’ the process. As I understand it, if you are terminated, you only get your vested pension.

It is very suspicious, and certainly not right.

Also, I find it interesting that they are only interviewing internal candidates, some of the same people who have invested with Sideras on lake front property. Isn’t this a gigantic conflict of interest? Of course the mayor needs to hire someone internally so he can keep the conflicts and internal scandals at bay.

Makes you wonder if the Mayor shares any investments with Sideras or his lake front buddies?

UPDATE: I guess by city ordinance, there are no rules against Sideras receiving his pension, no matter what he did after his eligibility. At the age of 60 he will get his pension and health benefits (or his wife).

UPDATED: Why was Sideras terminated before he was arrested or exonerated?

UPDATE: As we already know, Mr. Sideras was charged with possession of 10 counts of child pornography. If you read the search warrant affidavit, you will see they have ample evidence against him. He of course deserves his day in court. If found guilty, it will be truly sad that a man of this position in our city did what he did. So how does this reflect on the city and how it chooses its directors? When former assistant chief Patrick Warren was charged with hacking Sideras’ computer, Warren said he suffered from mental illness, and he urged the city to do a better job of evaluating the mental health of city employees. Could Sideras possible obsession with child pornography be caught in such an evaluation? While the city seems to be concerned about the health and well being of the minions, do they do evaluations on managers and offer them assistance? If the city learns anything from this episode, they need to start getting serious about the mental capacity and well being of their managers and directors.

Trust me, I have had hundreds of conversations with people over the past week about the possible reasons Sideras’ home was searched. And I have heard it all.

But with many of these conversations, people are asking the obvious. Why did the city decide to terminate Sideras before charges were brought against him?

In most cases, when a public official is embroiled in an investigation, and hasn’t been arrested or charged, they are put on administrative leave. I find it hard to believe that Sideras quit on his own, especially with the possibility of losing his pension.

This is all puzzling because the mayor has said over the past couple of days he ‘knows nothing’.

Yeah right.

What did Fire Chief Jim Sideras do?

To tell you the truth, I have no idea. There are some educated guesses, but like most crime related situations I think everyone deserves their day in court.

I do know that with my past conversations with former assistant chief, Patrick Warren that Warren did file complaints as early as 2011 against the chief over some employment issues and unauthorized vacation time. Those complaints were also sent to the city council after Warren’s termination in 2014. As far as Warren knew, no action was taken against Sideras due to Warren’s complaints.

Like I said, we will have to wait to see how this plays out. It makes me sad, because we have several fine individuals who work for the SFFD and I would hate to see the organization tarnished over the wrongdoings of their outgoing Chief.