Bloomberg issues veiled warning to honest Chief
Monday’s City Council hearing featuring Fire Chief Peter Hayden was packed with uniforms. Firefighters lined the walls and balcony in blazing black jackets, all the metal shining. The fireman in front of me looked just like Harvey Keitel. “Are you here for the bride or the groom?” he joked.
I said I was here for the guy challenging the mayor. The firefighter nodded. “And it’s not only that,” he said. “Some people hold a position. But this guy [Hayden] does his job.” Then Chief Hayden entered the room and every uniform rose.
That afternoon 911 veteran Hayden did his job, testifying on behalf of the people he protects. Today, Mayor Bloomberg lobbed a veiled threat his way.
Fueling the discord are three documents and myriad memories. In 2002, McKinsey, a private firm, produced two independent reviews of the City’s response to the terrorist attacks. Their reports analyzed the actions of the Fire and Police Departments. Using this information, the Office of Emergency Management, using input from FDNY, NYPD and City Council, issued a set of protocols for managing emergencies.
As he opened Monday’s hearings, Councilor Peter Vallone said the protocols, “were secretly signed by Mayor Bloomberg on April 11th. We did not receive a copy until May. The protocols should have been publicly discussed.” On Monday Council had that discussion with Chief Hayden and the Police, Fire and OEMS commissioners.
Known as the Citywide Incident Management System, (CIMS), the protocols are required by Washington for any city receiving federal security funds. Discrepancies between the recommendations in the McKinsey reports, and the directions issued in CIMS caused Chief Hayden to convey his concerns to the City, and to the press, out of regard for his beat