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Politics and Discipline in North Las Vegas

The city manager of North Las Vagas has placed Fire Chief Al Gillespie on paid administrative leave, but the reasons for that leave are being hotly disputed.

The firefighters union, IAFF Local 1607 says it is because Chief Gillespie refuses to implement draconian cuts that will jeopardize firefighter and public safety. A recently laid-off deputy chief, Kevin Brame, agrees.

However, the city manager, Timothy Hacker, contends that the move was due an injury that occurred to a member during a training exercise in January.

For those who are not aware of who Al Gillespie is, he is the current President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). That honor is not bestowed upon just anyone. I have known Chief Gillespie for over 16 years – we went through all four years of EFO together – and we are friends,  so it is a little hard for me to be objective on this one.

The fact that the firefighters union is standing solidly behind the fire chief says a lot in this day and age. The fact that Chief Gillespie ordered the layoff of Chief Brame and Chief Brame came to his defense says a lot as well.

As for why a city manager would place a fire chief on paid administrative leave in July over an injury that occurred in January… well the act speaks for itself.


Comments - Add Yours

  • ukfbbuff

    Wow, who would have thought that PPV/PPA Training would go wrong?

    After the LODD’s in the Calif., Contra Costa County, City of San Pablo at the “Michele Drive Incident” and the within 10 days again in Noonday, Texas is their any doubt that from the video their was a lack of adequate hose lines for the firefighters protection?

    The structure itself is basically, 2×4′s or 2×6′s with Gyspum Board/Sheet Rock wall on the interior.

    From the video,it looks like the blower was set up on the “A” side and the air currents
    moved to the exhaust openings in the “B-C” corner where the firefighters jump out the window.

    From my guess, the blower accelerated the burning flammables used in the drill and induced a flash over not once but twice in two different rooms, within seconds of one another.

    Hope the injured firefighters are back at work by now.

    I think in this instance the City Manager is looking at the wrong person to blame.

    Whoever was in Command of the Training Drill and Safety Officer on site are the ones who should be the ones disciplined in this incident.

    I’m inclined to support the Chief Gillespie along with his Rank and File Firefighters.

    The more the City Manager talks, the more his reasoning sounds phony.

  • John Murphy

    I’ve known Al for years as a competent administrator and leader. Obviously the Mayor has a grander plan for attempting to destroy this Chief’s reputation. Small minded individuals are plaguing our industry ruling by fiat and not by well though out programs.