Loose Lips

Pro-Fire Chief Rally Draws Small Crowd

With Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh demanding his resignation and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells slamming his performance, you might think Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe doesn't have much support left in the city. And judging by today's Wilson Building rally in support of him, you'd be right.

The demonstration, organized by Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ronnie Edwards and D.C. Federations of Civic Associations President Barbara Morgan, drew only about a dozen supporters to the hallway outside an empty Council chamber.

Lackluster turnout aside, Edwards insisted that his view that the chief is being unfairly blamed for the department's problems is held by a majority of residents . "You want to see more people?" Edwards says. "Give us time, we'll have more people."

The District's fire department is short vehicles and personnel, according to Wells' report. But Edwards insists that Ellerbe being blamed for the problems of previous administrations. That includes Ellerbe's predecessor, Chief Dennis Rubin, whom Edwards claims got off easy with scandals like fire station prostitution rings and the sale of fire truck to the Dominican Republic.

The fire department has a history of racial tension, including discrimination lawsuits and a department spokesman who accused firefighters of racism over a protest of Ellerbe. Ellerbe is African-American and Rubin is white, but Ellerbe protesters speakers at the rally were reluctant to say race was involved in the alleged double standard. "You can draw any conclusion you can draw," Edwards says.

Ward 8 ANC Commissioner Mary Cuthbert wasn't so coy with LL. "Now the union is complaining because he's black, and you can put that in the papers," she says.

Photo by Will Sommer

  • Asuka

    @Tony,

    The "F" word? Really? You are a vile homophobe.

  • tony

    @Asuka,

    You are vile and committed bigot, PUNK!

  • HOOKMAN

    better yet seDCdude...you kniw where i work..so come on by Thursday and tell me to my face Im a racist and a coward....By your tone behind your keyboard...your definitely not a coward right....time to step up to the plate and show everyone your not a brave internet warrior....cowards dont hide....so ill see you Thursday...unless your a coward....i promise not to be mean to you when you tell me Im a racist and a coward...to my face that is...

  • seDCdude

    Ayy Hooka'

    shut'chur punk a55 up!!!

    1st you are the know all tell all firefighter's firefighter, then you wanna go all Dave Shapiro on me, and now you wanna segway into a MMA/UFC punching bag right here on WCP's LosseLips, man I tell you!!!

    Youbetter stay in your lane GUMP!

  • HOOKMAN

    I just said for you to man up and show up at my firehouse and tell me to my face Im a racist and a coward....you my friend said I want to turn this into a mma/ufc punching bag...you perceive alot, but when it comes down to it....you're just an individual who hides behind a screen name and pribably do it from your moms basement....you want to sling stuff at me...go ahead...do it all day long...I don't care...make a libelous statement that I'm a racist...you my friemd are not smart...we'll see who the gump really is...we'll see which dog has the bark and which one has the bite...I'll put my paycheck on it its not me....see ya soon...

  • lrbsucks

    Why is this tax BS. Always brought up? We all pay taxes in DC. It is funded with Federal Tax dollers as well as local tax money. The Federal Government gives about 650 million of federal tax payers money to the city annualy and the federal Goverenment feels it is their obilgation to tell the city how they can spend that money. I would normaly feel this is a bunch of shit, but thank god they do, the way money is wasted is this city. Just remember it's everybodys City no matter were you live because every tax paying American contributes to the city, find a new excuse it's getting as old as the race card!

  • S.E.

    "The Federal Government gives about 650 million of federal tax payers money to the city annualy and the federal Goverenment feels it is their obilgation to tell the city how they can spend that money".

    The Federal Government can keep that 650 million anytime they want by agreeing to give the District Statehood. But then they would relinquish their personal "playground/plantation."

    Money is "wasted" in EVERY City/State. Congress will attach riders to the City's budget that they wouldn't dare try to pass in their own States because they would be voted out of office.

  • noodlez

    HOOKER SELLING A WHOLE LOT OF WOLF TICKETS!
    LAWSUITS? THREATS? REALLY???
    THIS WACKNESS FROM SOMEONE I GATHER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING OUT FIRES. YEAH OK!

    THIS FOOL COMMENTS ARE A PRIME EXAMPLE WHY THERE SHOULD BE A CALL TO TRAIN UP EX-OFFENDERS, NON-COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND FOLKS WHO ARE INCLINED TO SAVING LIVES AND CARE ABOUT THE RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY. AS OPPOSED TO CLOWNS LIKE HOOKMAN SITTING ON THEIR ASSES COLLECTING A PAYCHECK COUNTING THE MINUTES UNTIL THEY ARE ABLE TO SKEDADDLE TO WESTERN MARYLAND AND PENNSYLVANIA TO HUNT DEER.

    OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW!

  • S.E.

    Don't forget West Virginia

  • New Face

    Take a deep breath.

    Relax.

    There is 0 chance gray will be re-elected. Zero. No one else will touch Ellerbe.

    This is the last hurrah for "chocolate city" and the patronage politics it represents. The new city is multicultural, affluent, and professional. Once the "summer jobs for life" bloc has been gentrified out to Maryland, by the development of St. E's, politicians like Barry and Gray will no longer be able to get elected. The new city will look and operate much more like Arlington.

    Gray and Ellerbe know this, and are trying to pack the agencies with east of the river hires, in an effort to hold on to power like Barry did. It won't work. They'll bypass the competitive process by hiring cadets and civilians, but it won't work like it did before: the bad ones will eventually get fired, unlike on the Barry days. They can't hire enough to guarantee reelection.

  • S.E.

    "They'll bypass the competitive process by hiring cadets and civilians, but it won't work like it did before: the bad ones will eventually get fired, unlike on the Barry days. They can't hire enough to guarantee reelection".

    As will "the bad ones" who are selected through the testing process. Believe it or not.

  • SEis4ME

    This is the last hurrah for "chocolate city" and the patronage politics it represents. The new city is multicultural, affluent, and professional. Once the "summer jobs for life" bloc has been gentrified out to Maryland.

    You gotta love this.

    In other words. This is the last hurrah for black people and the politicians who continue to patronize this sordid group. Unlike anything black folk have contributed to the city, the "new" city is muliticutural, affluent and (unlike the black population) professional. Once DCPS students no longer have access to summer job, our hope is that they and their parents get pushed out to MD..the only place where they belong.

    Let me guess, you're a Tommy Wells voter?

  • Robert L Ridgeway

    Some really disgraceful discussions here. It's a shame that so many people won't take the time to actually read the report, analyze the issues, and then form an opinion after they've educated themselves on the topic. Instead, they would rather blame everything on the color of a man's skin (or the lack thereof) and make the assumption that the root cause of the problem is racial. Maybe that's why some of these same geniuses keep reelecting Marion Barry everytime he runs for City Council, because everyone knows it couldn't possibly be because of the color of his skin....

  • S.E.

    @ Ridgeway.....a lot of the "disgraceful" comments are coming from DCFEMS own.....

  • mizwillis

    Which 'these same geniuses', Mr. Ridgeway? Are you denigrating constituents who have the right to vote for whomever they choose? Let's not get into a discussion about whether or not superior intellect is a requirement for
    voter registration. That would certainly EXCLUDE quite a few voters on this blog whether or not they live in DC.

    'Analyze the issues (or even read the report), form an opinion after educating themselves?'

    On what planet do you reside, Sir?

  • SEis4ME

    This is the last hurrah for "chocolate city" and the patronage politics it represents. The new city is multicultural, affluent, and professional. Once the "summer jobs for life" bloc has been gentrified out to Maryland.

    You gotta love this. In other words. This is the last hurrah for black people and the politicians who continue to patronize this sordid group. Unlike anything black folk have contributed to the city, the "new" city is muliticutural, affluent and (unlike the black population) professional. Once DCPS students no longer have access to summer job, our hope is that they and their parents get pushed out to MD..the only place where they belong. Let me guess, you're a Tommy Wells voter?

  • seDCdude

    You gotta love this.

    "In other words. This is the last hurrah for black people and the politicians who continue to patronize this sordid group. Unlike anything black folk have contributed to the city, the "new" city is muliticutural, affluent and (unlike the black population) professional. Once DCPS students no longer have access to summer job, our hope is that they and their parents get pushed out to MD..the only place where they belong.

    Let me guess, you're a Tommy Wells voter?"

    EAXACTLY!!!!

    And you gotta love this Ridgeway guy who I will assume is OLD skool DCFD, comes i n trying to be the voice of reason when in fact he and his idiology are the very reasons a Chief Ellerbe exists!

    Ridgeway you wreak of CONDESCENSION and have 0 credibiliyty just as this clown bafoon HOOKa'!!!

    In 1 breath, Pro Ellerbe folk comments are disgusting, yet you manage to take a shot at the same man you probably were hired under and has not 1 iota of reason to be name dropped in this thread, absolutely amazing!!!

    Insecure white men are a threat to themselves!!!!

    Fact!

  • New Face

    I do love it. DC is going to be awesome when it welcomes people of all colors and not just those with "chocolate" skin tones.

    DC is going to be awesome when people are more concerned about the efficacy of their ambulance service than the number of DC residents it hires.

    DC is going to be awesome when agency heads are hired and retained for performance. Rather than family connections, or racial balancing.

    If it means displacing long-time residents who can't afford to live here without public subsidy, so be it. This is the best economy in the country, if you can't find gainful employment here without the government giving it to you, you are doing something wrong.

  • SEis4ME

    Wait! DC only welcomes black folk? Even though most of us are largely concentrated EOTR?

    DC should be more concerned about ambulance service than the number of residents it hires? Really? Exactly in what city does this foolishness happen? Please tell me a city that isn't concerned about ambulatory service AND jobs for its residents. They don't exist.

    There isn't a city, state, or federal jurisdiction that doesn't hire based on "connections" and "racial balancing." Or did you happen to miss that when Fenty hired his GodFather as the city's legal mind. Or maybe when "women" complained about the lack of them in Obama's cabinet and he then hired a few "white" ones to fill the slots. Kagan...Sotomayor?

    But I do love how you've moved from all of DC black residents being unprofessional, poor and should only move to MD...to displacing those on public subsidies because long-term residents are the only people on DC's dime.

    I think I'm gonna start referring to you as Mitt Limbaugh-Coulter.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Become a fireman in Pennsylvania or West Virginia or whereever else it is you live. You have a VESTED interest in those places.

  • New Face

    How about this: Since MD/VA/PA people should only work where THEY live, and tax money should only be spent where it's raised, let's break it down further:

    Let's have 3 DC's and see what happens: East of the river, center city, and west of the park. Taxes can only be spent where they're raised, and those cities can only hire their own residents. Let's see how that would work. Bad idea? What makes the city line the right idea, and the waterways the wrong idea? Here's a hint: Nothing.

    Doesn't matter. The tide has shifted. IN: luxury condos and multicultural hipsters. OUT: housing projects and multigenerational welfare recipients.

    All those cranes? Gray didn't put them there, but they sure represent people who are going to vote against him.

  • Really?

    Damn Shady....you stole my line! They ain't going investing by the way of working in their home state of PA/WV b/c the wages are too low. No comparison to what they are getting paid here. Ask the firefighter who had dem 5 babies to support and was pullin in $300k (3x's his salary).

    That's why they are fighting hard on this board. When you Fw/folks money they crack back hard. And they would be damned if they would see folks locally benefit and I'm sure they see it in their eyes as someone less superior taking their position.

    The safety stuff is pure BS and PR to get folks fired up. Back when the former chief was running things I remember that we couldn't even get the MOU signed to have a program to train HS graduates to become EMS. There was a serious need and this would have killed two birds with one stone.

    Again, big props to DC Fire folks. Ya'll know how to organize and ya'll know how to the crash the comment board as it relates to your employment. Too bad YOUR concern just stops their. Because if you were truly vested in the community and working to have it become "world class" then we would see these ALL THESE new names in other topics related to DC.

    Nope when you break this down to the lowest common denominator it's about maintaining the current situation. Which is interesting b/c it's that the same thing that many longtime residents are trying to do?

    Rules for ya'll and rules for us...in full effect!

  • SEis4ME

    Doesn't matter. The tide has shifted. IN: luxury condos and multicultural hipsters. OUT: housing projects and multigenerational welfare recipients.

    And you gotta love this even more. Not only do you envision a city w/o blacks, especially long-term residents and DCPS students, you're so such a class bigot that you think luxury condos are what DC should be focusing on. I do wonder where these multicultural hipsters will live since they surely can't afford the condos.

    BTW, WTH is a "multicultural hipster?" We already know you exclude blacks from that definition. But multicultural "hipster." Really?

    All those cranes? Well there's lots of them..some from private companies and others are DC's own. Your logic is silly. The cranes are represented by people who will vote against Gray.

    How silly does that sound? The people who voted Gray in are many of the same people who voted Fenty in.

  • mizwillis

    To: Mr. New Face:

    DC IS ALREADY AWESOME.
    WHY ELSE WOULD YOUR NEW FACE AND MULTI-CULTURAL, CONDO LIVING HIPPIES MOVE HERE.

    CHECK THE STATS LITTLE BOI. YOU'LL FIND THAT THERE ARE MANY MORE OTHER RACES LIVING IN HOUSING PROJECTS WITH MULTI-GENERATIONAL WELFARE RECIPIENT FAMILIES THAN THOSE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN DESCENT. NOT ONLY THAT: ALL PEOPLE ON WELFARE ARE NOT LOSERS.

    WHOSE GONNA WIPE YOUR MULTICULTURAL, AFFLUENT, PROFESSIONAL CHILDREN'S DIRTY BEHINDS WHILE THEIR PARENTS ARE OUT THERE PAYING THOSE CONDO FEES????? OH, I GET IT, MAYBE THERE WON'T BE ANY CHILDREN'S BEHINDS TO WIPE!!!!

    IN THAT CASE: WHO IS GOING TO BUS THOSE DISHES, HAUL THAT GARBAGE, AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR LITTLE NARROW TAIL WHEN (AND IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH)YOU NEED NURSING HOME CARE? THE MULTI-CULTURAL, NON-AFFLUENT, NON-PROFESSIONAL UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS WHO WILL PROBABLY SPIT IN YOUR FOOD?

    MULTI-CULTURAL AFFLUENT, PROFESSIONAL WHITE NIGGAH, PLEASE!!!!!!

  • New Face

    love it!

    I'm not anti-black by any means, i just dont think that the multi-generational welfare people bring anything to the table. New immigrants are 90% employed, no problem with them - be they from jalisco or ghana, they come looking to work, not have a job handed to them.

    As far as good workers on the FD, it doesnt matter where they come from or what they look like, just that they can do the job. Unfortunately for DC residents, they,re handicapped by DCPS and the 'no teacher left behind' policies there, as well as the poor work habits they develop from the jobs for votes programs that barry and gray support.

  • S.E.

    "i just dont think that the multi-generational welfare people bring anything to the table"."As far as good workers on the FD, it doesnt matter where they come from or what they look like, just that they can do the job".

    A wise old DFC would always say: "Hell....you can find a monkey with enough nut$ to put a fire out".

    You see New Face, it doesn't take much education and/or skill to fight fires. The majority of the FF's here are bringing a GED or it's equivalent to the table....at best.....Especially those from MD/VA/PA and WVA.

    As far as DC residents being hired due to family connections....you may want to check the family lineage in DCFEMS.....(right Ridgeway)?

    Welfare recipients?.......the majority of the white FF's are only one/two generations removed from White trash.

    With the generous salary that they're paid, they can afford to get off welfare and be the first in their family to move out of the trailer park.

  • mizwillis

    Yes Newby, we know you love it.
    That's why you moved here in the first place.
    What was wrong with where you lived before you came here complaining?
    They run you out on a crooked track?
    Not enough afflu in your ence?
    Factories close down?
    Professionals leave town?
    90% of the jobs there taken by immigrants?
    Or you just couldn't go home again?

    Probably the latter. Life style challenges maybe?

  • mizwillis

    Barry and Gray must be some Bad Mamajammas.
    They can provide enough jobs for enough voters to get elected over and over again. Does that mean all of the citizens who did not benefit from that pool did not vote for them?

    Why do you think you and the new immigrants decided to come to DC? Who would CHOOSE to move into the cesspool environment you and your cohorts make DC to be?

    Oh, that's right, the same kind who slaughtered the indigent population of Mexico, the (Belgian)Congo and the Native American population of North America.

    Glad to hear you you're not anti-black by any means. Because 3/4 of the world's population are people of color.
    Look at some world census charts and see what that means.

    What in the world is wrong with Barry and Gray putting people to work??????? You and your affluent, professional people wouldn't want those jobs anyway.

    Go home, Creepy and take your border hopping firefighters with you.

  • seDCdude

    "As far as DC residents being hired due to family connections....you may want to check the family lineage in DCFEMS.....(right Ridgeway)?"
    ........................................................

    LMBAO again at the HYPOCRACY of it all, one cannot put a price on the disgrace of family honor, laawd have mercy!!!!

    So what you're telling me is that this pompous a55 who speaks negatively about the SAME MAYOR who at the time this POS was afforded an opportunity to better his plight, plot and position in life; right along with the ability to support his family can now show his a55 when reverance is in fact due.......WOW!

    With comrades like this who NEEDS enemies!

    Again, INSECURE white men have NOt a clue, unFVCKnBELIEVABLE, and to think his kid(s) work for the city and he comes here talkN DUMB SHYT, smdh!!

  • SEis4ME

    I'm not anti-black by any means, i just dont think that the multi-generational welfare people bring anything to the table.

    Notice how the goal post was conveniently moved.

    "No, I'm not anti-black by any means. *grabs pearls*
    Ok sure:

    1. I might think that blacks (having long been in the majority) have done anything to encourage to the multicutural, professional city DC can become.

    2. I might also think that DCPS students should no longer be given summer jobs (they don't deserve) and be forced to move to MD (the only place they belong) with their families.

    However, I'm not ant-black by any means. I can't be. The blacks work under me.

  • DCShadyBoots

    I don't care if you are black, white, red, yellow or brown. It doesn't matter. EMERGENCY RESPONDERS should reside within a certain limited distance from the city. Having to wait 2-3 hours for you to reach the beltway is simply not acceptable in the nations capital.

    Ellerbe ruffled those long-distance feathers when he proposed changing the schedule making it life a bit strained for those responders who take in a District check and spend it in the local economies where they reside. I simply don't feel sorry for you.

    As far as broken or poorly maintained equipment, sounds like some employees who are responsiblt for maintenance need to be replaced and the Council needs to approve the acquisition of new equipment.

  • truth hurts

    Frenzied cluster fuck.

  • seDCdude

    And another CRASH DUMMY!

  • New Face

    As DHS develops St. Elizabeth's a new class of voter (yes, whiter and more educated) will be moving into Ward8. Barry, Gray, and the others that believe in handout patronage politics over high performance government will no longer be able to be elected. Welfare benefits will decrease. Housing benefits will decrease. Those who depend on them to reside in the (high-rent) District will either find work or be displaced, probably to Maryland. I won't shed a tear for them.

    The existing council has abandoned Ellerbe and Gray. They will be forced to hire off the regular list. They will not be able to give away 100 jobs to cadets who have bypassed the competitive testing process.

    Emergency responders respond from their place of work, not from their homes.

    Black, white, brown, yellow or red. It doesn't matter. DC deserves to have working fire trucks (the responsibility of the chief) adequate staffing (the responsibility of the chief) adequate training (the responsibility of the chief), and the appropriate equipment (the responsibility of the chief). 2.5 years into his term, Ken Ellerbe has reduced the fleet, increased vacancies, cut training, and failed to replace equipment. He is a danger to the people of DC.

    Unfortunately, racists like you don't see past his skin tone.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Whining firemen should be replaced by those who appreciate their job and respect the chain of authority.

  • S.E.

    "Emergency responders respond from their place of work, not from their homes".

    This is true...............while they're ON-DUTY. In the event of a CALL-BACK..i.e. 9/11, they will be RETURNING FOR DUTY from their homes.

    As to what you point out as "the responsibility of the chief".....there are Deputy Fire Chiefs who are responsible for carrying out these functions.

  • New Face

    If it weren't for firemen "whining" the public wouldn't know about the sad state of the Fire Department and EMS. Remember 'transparency', 'accountability'?

    So, what are these firefighters going to do on a call-back, walk around with garden hoses? Ken Ellerbe doesn't even have enough fire trucks or ambulances for a REGULAR day, much less a disaster.

    How about making a callback, and seeing who shows up and how fast, rather than arbitrarily deciding a distance. Remember, 3/4's of DC's firefighters live within 25 miles of the capital. The other 25% can relieve the first set when they're exhausted.

    The buck stops where? I've seen Kenny shuck and dodge blame his whole career. Funny how failure always seems to find him.

  • mizwillis

    The 'non-racist, not anti-black New Face' of Washington, DC
    is terribly lacking in insight and insensitivity. Those intergenerational welfare recipients were having and raising quite a few babies. Those babies who are now (for the most part) productive and truly non-racist registered voters attended school with (for the most part) productive, and truly non-racist non-intergnerational welfare recipients' offspring: Black, White and Multicultural.

    To assume this collective group of the real NEW FACE of not only Washington, DC, but of the entire nation is absurd and truly dismissive of what the cultural melting pot is all about.

  • mizwillis

    'lacking in insight and sensitivity.'

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