The Concerned Citizen

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DC Faith Leaders Demand Gun Safety Legislation!

Several faith leaders from the DC area, some representing national congregations, gathered yesterday to demand legislative action to reduce gun violence. Rev. Thomas Bowen of the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs said, “Guns in fact, do kill people.” Well it seems to us that People kill People. Someone may use a gun, knife, or any number of other inanimate objects to accomplish their objective, but it’s the person that actually does the killing. A man or woman with a propensity to kill or injure will use what ever means is available to them at the time, homemade bomb, vehicle, poison, or even a number 2 pencil.

If you watch the national news, you know that people across the United States are murdered on a daily basis by means other than guns. So for once, lets talk about stiffening the penalty for these murders and violent criminals, i.e., Death Penalty, instead of trying to regulate guns.

If you really believe that guns kill people, then I guess you may also believe that forks make people fat, pencils misspell words, and people make their cars drive drunk.

Filed under: Commentary

Seriously Chief Dean!

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

While contributing reporters at The Concerned Citizen rarely, if ever, comment on events that occur outside of the Norman-BrooksDistrict of Columbia, we must say that a decision to reassign and investigate a city firefighter, because of comments posted on his personal facebook page that may have violated department policy, is utterly ridiculous and has garnered our complete attention and concern.

Although we, as law abiding citizens, may not agree with the use of words posted in protest by firefighter Norman Brooks, following an obviously intense and emotional incident involving the shooting of a African-American man in Louisiana, we do; however, support the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, by law, supersedes any local agency’s internal social media policy and gives firefighter Brooks the right to his freedom of speech.

The First Amendment: prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”

Here’s a thought Chief Dean. How about investigating real issues such as; arson, mismanagement (the need to use contractors to service city residents due to a lack of manpower and medical apparatus), the inability of your department to keep up with the supplies and equipment necessary for personnel to perform their jobs efficiently, etc.

Maybe city officials need to investigate you Gregory Dean, considering that you, as Fire Chief, are ultimately responsible for the department’s fiscal inefficiency. Oh, did I mention the moral issues that have been allowed to permeate throughout the department for years. Maybe you, Chief, should investigate your management team to discover why the department has been managed so poorly over the years. In other words Chief Dean, citizens of the District think have a few more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

Furthermore, myself (recent law school graduate) and others at The Concerned Citizen believe that DC residents should not have to sit back and watch their hard earned tax dollars go to lawyers who are trying to defend the Fire Department against another law suit that is simply impossible for them to win.

Chief, firefighter Brooks did not commit a crime or break any laws that would warrant any criminal prosecution by the US Attorney’s office or punitive action by your department. Surely you don’t think that internal department policies can override rights guaranteed to every American by the constitution of the United States, do you? If so, let me tell you, that battle has already been fought and won in the highest court of the land. So let’s not infringe upon or deny fighter Brooks or any US citizen his or her constitutional rights, even though we may not agree with what is being said.

America is great, let’s keep it that way.

Filed under: Commentary

Are 911 dispatchers being overworked?

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

According to the following statement made by Christopher Geldart, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the District of Columbia, who also dc dispatch centerserved as interim director of the OUC (DC911) until the appointment of Karima Holmes, 911 call takers have a very hard job. “You’re talking to people on their worst day. It’s a hard job to do normally, and then to do it for 12 hours, that’s a lot.”

Well, the Concerned Citizen has learned that 911 police, fire, and emergency medical Dispatchers, a highly skilled group of individuals who undergo countless hours of initial training coupled with a yearly mandate of continuing education, are being forced, by the Operations Manager, to answer 911 calls when not sitting in the dispatch position, “the hot seat”, as it’s called by insiders.

We talked with some current and former DC officials and were informed that Janice Quintana, a former 911 director, ended the practice mentioned above, sighting employee stress and fatigue as factors that contribute to dispatch errors. We were also advised that this same Operations Manager, who was outspokenly opposed to Ms. Quintana’s decision to end the double duty of dispatchers, resumed the practice under interim director, Teddy Kavaleri, following her departure.

Listen folks! If the singular job of a 911 call taker is considered to be extremely hard during a 12 hour shift, it’s a wonder that Dispatchers, who are being forced to take 911 emergency calls and dispatch as well during a 12 hour shift, haven’t gone crazy by now. Don’t these employees have different job descriptions?

Dear Ms. Holmes, concerned citizens of the District of Columbia would like to see their 911 call takers concentrate on taking emergency and non-emergency calls for service and Dispatchers concentrate solely on their discipline, which is to send the residents and visitors of DC the right help, to the right place, at the right time.

After consulting with medical experts, the Concerned Citizen is convinced that fatigue and stress can seriously hamper the performance of dispatchers who need to be alert and functioning at high levels of mental accuracy when dealing life and property.

The current requirement, re-established by your Operations Manager, is an accident waiting to happen. As such, we sincerely urge you, as the agency’s Director, to put an immediate stop to this ridiculous and dangerous practice, before it results in another tragic incident.

Filed under: Commentary

Injured on the job?

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

Over the past several months, the Concerned Citizen has received several emails from Rohan LawFederal and District workers who have been injured on the job and are concerned about their rights under the law, so we consulted with the professionals and were surprised at what we learned about government officials and their ineptness, which often results in lawsuits with very large payouts. If you are suffering from a work related injury or illness; you are entitled to benefits from your employer for lost wages, medical bills, job retraining and placement, permanent disability and more.

So click on the logo I’ve posted in this report and read about the Rohan Law Firm, then select the District of Columbia or Federal tab on the left to see a brief description of your rights.  Make The Call!

Filed under: Commentary

Private ambulance company starts EMS services in DC tomorrow.

amr-ambulance-300x199In February 2016, American Medical Response (AMR) was asked to assist DCFEMS with the additional call load for EMS services in the city. As part of the agreement, the company will operate and maintain 29 private ambulances with up to 25 Available during high-call volume periods. The private units will be spread throughout the city and could be on the scene of an incident within 10 minutes after dispatch.

We think that its probably a good deal for citizens and visitors who need fast ems service, but it definitely points out how poor planning and bad management decisions by our elected and appointed city officials have hampered city services over the years.

What’s your take on this DC?

Filed under: Commentary

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