Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: Tacoma Fire Department

Dec.
12th

Devastating Fox Island blaze a reminder of seasonal danger

When I first ran through the doorway, it seemed like I was walking into a thick fog bank. The charcoal-colored smoke was so opaque I could not see my hand in front of my face. I squeezed my eyes nearly shut, held my breath and followed the sounds of running feet ahead of me.

Against all judgment, my partner had rushed into the burning house in hopes of finding the last occupant. With the fire department still on the way, I was the third cop to follow him inside where a teenager was, unbelievably, hiding out amidst the flames. Though

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July
30th

Nonemergent calls to police and fire are irritating but necessary

Scene: Mid-90s. Swing shift patrol. Northeast Tacoma. 

Action: Day 1 – Police officer drives around in circles for hours. No calls. He pulls into the fire station and eats his lunch with similarly bored firefighters. Goes home. Day 2 – Repeat.

While this scenario was largely true back in the day, it is no longer. Shrinking budgets and an increase in service calls keep most first responders hopping day and night. But hopping to what?

According to Adam Lynn’s excellent piece in Sunday’s TNT, many of those calls – at least for the Tacoma Fire Department –

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Jan.
13th

And now for something completely different (or not)

Since 2013 started (was it only two weeks ago?), it seems I’ve already managed to anger the hordes. Turns out that where guns are involved, there is no room for a calm, much less civil, debate. Add to that marijuana. And presidential politics.

2012 was a difficult year. What with the election, the economy and all the insane violence, it’s no wonder we’re all on edge. So, before we start the new year off on the wrong foot, let’s talk about something else.

What topic? I’m open to suggestions, though I did put together a quick list. Think of these

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Dec.
7th

Police and fire cuts highlight city’s fiscal irresponsibility

If you are a vile Grinch (or perhaps Tim Eyman) then the Tacoma municipal budget may be giving you everything you want this Christmas, such as:

No more fire stations for Proctor and the Tide Flats. Don’t worry, everything there was either old or flammable anyway.

No more school resource officers. No problem – just hang a few “No bullying” signs.

No more fire boats. Heck, if the fire’s on the water then it’s not really a problem (let’s just overlook all the chemicals and HAZMAT at the port, though).

No more gang unit. Well, they’ll just have to behave

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Nov.
19th

Interim City Manager playing poker with city budget

If Tacoma’s Interim City Manager Rey Arellano thinks his latest budget proposal is a joke, I have news for him. It ain’t funny.

With $23 million in expected cuts coming in 2012, potential job losses come as no surprise. The number of jobs–165 jobs according to the latest Trib report–does put a hefty human toll, especially given the nation’s unemployment woes.

But those figures blur when the two job classifications taking the majority of the cuts come into focus: Police officers and firefighters.

In all fairness I know people in both agencies, and will indirectly

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