Friday, April 5, 2013
The firefighter, who took heat on Fox News for running marathons after he retired on disability from the North Shore Fire Department, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the fire chief and news station
A man who retired from the North Shore Fire Department after he was injured has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Megyn Kelly for a story aired in 2011, which reported he ran marathons while collecting disability payments. According to a story in the Journal Sentinel, Aaron Marjala filed the suit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The suit also names Robert Whitaker, the chief of the North Shore Fire Department. Marjala worked as a firefighter with North Shore from 2002 until he was determined to be permanently disabled as a firefighter in January 2008, due to nerve damage in his right arm that persisted despite two surgeries, according to the complaint. Find out more about the defamation case.
Friday, November 2, 2012
The effort is designed to coincide with the end of daylight savings time this Sunday.
North Shore Fire/Rescue officials are hoping people will change their smoke detector batteries to coincide with the end of daylight savings time. “Nationally, 20 percent of all homes with smoke alarms do not have at least one smoke detector that works, mostly due to missing or dead batteries. This needs to change,” said North Shore Fire/Rescue Chief Robert Whitaker. “We want to see 100 percent of all homes with working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.” The move comes on the heels of new data showing that structure fires are on the rise in the North Shore this year to date compared to last year. “Taking five extra minutes this weekend to change out batteries in these devices could save a life, and it is well worth the small …
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Fire Chief Robert Whitaker was unable to pinpoint a particular reason, but 2012 should have more building fires than any year in recent history.
Building fires in the North Shore Fire Department region are up dramatically from last year and are on pace to be the highest total in years. Fire officials haven't been able to pinpoint a common cause. They also say the building fires are not clustered in any one geographic area among their seven communities.d "Nationally, some communities are seeing a rise in people starting houses on fire intentionally because they can't afford to keep them anymore and are trying to get rid of the property, but we haven't seen that," Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said. The causes of the building fires are "all mixed up," Whitaker said. "Lightning strikes, and so on." Meanwhile, medical calls are down, and the department is still on pace to handle roughly …
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The department members are wearing pink T-shirts throughout October and selling them to the general public to support the fight against breast cancer.
One of the first things you notice about North Shore Fire/Rescue Department Assistant Chief Andrew Harris is that he’s wearing a pink shirt underneath his uniform. “It’s not typically a color we wear,” said Harris, stating the obvious, and too shy to have his photo taken. In another room nearby, burly firefighters were making food and watching TV as they milled around the Brown Deer station. Yes, they were also pretty in pink. Yes, this is evidence: Real men do wear it. The firefighters have donned pink T-shirts for the past month to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month. They have swapped their traditional blue T-shirts for the pink. They wear them to calls, and out in the community, as part of their standard uniforms. They’ve …
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The new dispatch center is open for business, now supporting all seven North Shore communities for police and fire dispatching services.
Roughly 700 days after the first movement toward a Consolidated Dispatch Center, the Bayside Village Board stood in the new entry way for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Robb DeGraff, Sam Dickman, Bill Hersch, Eido Walny, Michael Barth and James Petersen were all in attendance, along with members of both the village hall and police departments. The new center supports dispatching services for all seven North Shore communities including Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, River Hills, Glendale, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay. The Public Policy Forum awarded the North Shore Consolidated Dispatch Services with their "Intergovernmental Cooperation" award for the work it took to negotiate and come to agreement with all seven communities. But…
Thursday, May 24, 2012
As National EMS week comes to a close, we remember those who arrive on scene first to administer life-saving emergency medical attention and bridge the gap between the accident scene and the emergency room.
You're driving along Interstate 43 and someone tries to sneak between yourself and the next car. They cut it just a little bit too close, tapping your front bumper, tipping you into a 70 mph spin. Next thing you know, you're trapped motionless in your car and hear sirens creeping in the background. Why is the first thing you see a fire engine and not an ambulance? Because every fire engine in the North Shore Fire Department is loaded with life-saving equipment and fully EMT certified fire fighters that bridge the gap between you being trapped in that car-wreck, and making it safely to the emergency room. "Being an EMT or a paramedic is not an easy job, they see things that most people would never want to see," NSFD Chief Robert Whitaker …
Friday, November 11, 2011
Agreement was for three years, however, Monday's vote by County Board ends contract one year early.
Milwaukee County supervisors this week restored at least some funding to the North Shore Fire Department in the 2012 budget. But it’s a hollow victory, according to NSFD Chief Robert Whitaker. The NSFD was originally facing a $362,000 cut to its paramedics budget after County Executive Chris Abele proposed entirely eliminating emergency medical services subsidiary for municipal departments. Supervisors restored a total of $1.5 million across the county, with $150,000 slated for the NSFD. Though this particular amendment passed by a 15-4 margin, enough to override the veto Abele has threatened, Whitaker said he is unhappy that the partial restoration comes with the requirement to explore more consolidation and other conditions. "I whispered…
Friday, November 4, 2011
North Shore Fire Department facing possible $362,000 cut that could force additional personnel cuts.
As the North Shore Fire Department struggles to balance its budget for 2012, there’s a cloud looming overhead. Without a supportive vote from the Milwaukee County Board, NSFD could have to plug a $362,000 hole in its budget. “If the county cuts more money out, we either have to adjust our expenses for next year or we have to find a new revenue source, which these days is tough to do,” Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said. NSFD receives $362,000 annually from Milwaukee County for paramedic services, which pays for people and equipment. And with the cuts proposed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele in his 2012 budget, those funds would dry up. Whitaker says he and his staff have been busy reorganizing the department to further cut expenses …
Friday, September 23, 2011
County executive calls for ending $3 million subsidiary to county fire departments.
One less man per shift and potentially increased response times. That's what North Shore Fire Department Chief Robert Whitaker is warning may happen if a proposed $3 million cut to Milwaukee County paramedic services goes into effect. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele last week announced that he plans to end the payments to county fire departments for paramedic service as part of his 2012 budget. The move to cut the $3 million in fire department funding is driven by a $55 million budget shortfall for Milwaukee County. However, eliminating what Abele describes as an "out-of-date" practice is not getting positive feedback from fire officials or some county supervisors. "Candidate Abele pledged to engage in partnerships and dialogues …
Friday, September 2, 2011
Battalion Chief Jeff Weigand was instrumental in fire department consolidation and a well-respected leader.
After 30 years of protecting North Shore communities — first in Fox Point and then as a member of the North Shore Fire Department — Battalion Chief Jeff Weigand is retiring. As a battalion chief, Weigand oversaw firefighters at five different stations within the NSFD. Chief Robert Whitaker said Weigand didn't just do his job – he excelled. “He was a great emergency scene manager and was able to quickly process information and think on his feet,” Whitaker said, adding that Weigand wasn’t the kind of supervisor to shy away from difficult issues either, and preferred to challenge them head-on. “Jeff worked great with others and was always willing to talk about issues and discuss them.” While his official last day will be Sept. 9, Weigand, 53…