Thursday, January 07, 2010

IFD Will Do Veolia's Job

Recognizing the crisis situation Veolia's incompetence has handed his fire department, Indianapolis Fire Department Chief Brian Sanford has ordered Indianapolis firefighters to inspect all fire hydrants in the areas covered by their fire houses. "Even though it's not our responsibility, we're going to assist because it's in our best interest -- and in the best interest of public safety -- to help," Sanford said. Sanford told the Star' Vic Ryckaert that the problem with frozen and inoperable fire hydrants is the worst he's seen in decades with the department. Firefighters have encountered seven inoperable fire hydrants during three fires this week. It is incredible that these steps have to be taken when you consider how much taxpayers are paying Veolia to run the water utility. It is the largest such contract in the United States and the company has been paid tens of millions in bonus payments by the city to boot.

11 comments:

Downtown Indy said...

They should mark the hydrants with the inspection date and perhaps even put a dab of paint across the valve to reveal whether the hydrant was opened since it was last inspected.

Paul K. Ogden said...

This is yet another example of public officials not enforcing privatization contracts. Undoubtedly there is a provision in the contract saying Veolia is susposed to check these fire hydrants. Now is the administration going to bill Veolia for having firefighers, who are city employees, go out and check hydrants for a private company?

Downtown Indy said...

Do you suppose there's a penalty clause for failure to perform? Nah, probably not.

Southsider said...

"go out and check hydrants for a private company?".......Of course this is covered under the current Firefighters contract?

Flipper said...

Southsider,
As a retired IFD firefighter we take an oath to protect lives and property. Our goal is to save lives of citizens along with fellow firefighters. We will do anything necessary even if it means checking hydrants. Our local union which is safety driven is on board with this issue.

Sean Shepard said...

As Paul suggested (I just read through the comments before clicking submit on this) ...

I would question if any opportunity to have Veolia pay for the inspections or otherwise reimburse IFD were passed up?

If it is, contractually, Veolia's job and IFD is doing the contract work they should not be doing it for free.

One would also question, if there is some inspection interval or other reasonable expectation that wasn't fulfilled, if Veolia is liable in any way for the increased damages caused by the inability of IFD to find properly functioning hydrants?

Paul K. Ogden said...

By the way, Veolia's attorney is Barnes & Thornburg. So I'm pretty sure the company has "safeguards" in place in the administration and on the council to make sure they are never fined for not complying with their contracts.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Paul, thanks for filling us in on the conveniences that Veolia enjoys with the Ballard administration courtesy of B&T.

Wrong Number... said...

This is all just crazy. IFD is not "inspecting" hydrants. They're doing the old drive-by. "Yep, that's a fire hydrant."

The last thing anybody wants is IFD opening up any more fire hydrants (and risk breaking them as they've done so far this winter).

By early February 2003, there were 179 frozen fire hydrants reported. There are four this year. Not so bad I'd say.

IndyDem said...

Going forward from here is great. But what about the sevearl buildings and homes that have burned down because they coudlnt get water? I'd think about getting a law suit against who ever was supposed to make sure those hydrants were tested.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Veolia, Veolia, Veolia. How could you let so many fire hydrants freeze, resulting in frantic fear and substantial damage to unsuspecting neighborhoods. Shame on you, and shame on us for not better monitoring you.