Thursday, August 21, 2008

Deutsche Bank never had demo permit

Contractors tearing down the contaminated former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan never had a formal demolition permit, even though they were undertaking one of the most complicated efforts ever to dismantle a skyscraper.

Inquiry Lays Out Chain of Failures in High-Rise Fire

When a fire broke out last Aug. 18 at the tower, it took roughly 80 minutes to get water on the flames, in part because workers there waited some 13 minutes to call 911 and then gave firefighters inaccurate information about whether emergency equipment at the site was working.

And communication lapses further disrupted the firefighting response. Walkie-talkies failed, and critical calls for help went unheard. Men were lost in the confusion. One firefighter’s radio problems forced him to crawl to the building’s edge to report that two imperiled colleagues — Robert Beddia, 53, and Joseph Graffagnino, 33 — were trapped by stairwells that had been sealed off. Both men were killed.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The mob in this town does not need a permit. They don't need no stinking badges I mean premits

Forgetaboutit

Bada Bing Baby

Dr. Engine said...

Not having a permit is the least of it. Providing innacurate information, waiting 13 minutes to call 911, those are bigger issues. You don't need a permit to do those two little things that could have made all the difference.

And, I'm sorry, did I read that correctly? The FDNY STILL don't have working walkie-talkies? STILL 7 years after 9/11? And no one is getting fired over there?

Wade Nichols said...

The FDNY STILL don't have working walkie-talkies? STILL 7 years after 9/11?

Add to that, the fact that 7 years later, and all we have to show is essentially a giant hole in the ground.

Wikipedia says that excavation of the Empire State Building site began on January 22, 1930. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building's lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. All this was accomplished in just over a year, in the midst of the "Great Depression"!

Our "political leaders" definitely are lacking in will and leadership if all they can show for 7 years is a giant hole, and no working walkie-talkies for FDNY! What a bunch of BUMS!!!!

Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again!

KG2V said...

I could go into technical details of why the FDNY radio system is still messed up. Part of it is vendors, part of it is poor design, but a huge part is technical inertia

There is a HUGE problem EVERYWHERE in the US right now with radio comms. Basically, the radio vendors have sold the idea of "trunked" radios to the Government as the be all and end all or radio systems. These "new" systems have a huge problem. In an analog system (what we we have NOW) if you get on the fringe of the signal, you my lose a word or two, get static, etc - in a digital system, you get NOTHING.

The problem is, folks want to have everyone with a radio, and there aren't enough frequencies, so they go to a trunked system where folks can share a few frequencies.

The existing FDNY, bad as it is, was designed around a "nifty" idea. They basically use 2 sets of frequencies - "dispatch", which is a high power system, and actually works quite well, and "Fireground", which is used at the scene to talk between firefighters

Here is the problem. Basically, they want ALL the firefighters in a county on ONE fireground frequency, so that say a 2nd or 3rd alarm comes in, people don't have to go changing their radios around, with the inevitible "I'm on the wrong channel". OK, this works fine, until you realize - "gee, I can hear the guys fighting the fire 1/2 mile away, and we're getting confused who is who". To prevent this, the fireground radios HAVE to be low power - quite low. So, you end up with the problem of "you can't hear the guy on the 13th floor unless he's at the edge of the building"

One of the things they are/were trying with the digital systems was "dynamic regrouping". Think "engine XXX has radios 1-20 assigned to it" and "Engine YYY has radios 100-130 assigned to it" - on the way to the fire, they can (over the air) reprogram radios 1-20 and 100-130 to "talk group 456", and then only folks in group 456 can hear each other

Works - in theory, but what happens if one radio gets missed, or radio 20 ends up on the wrong truck, etc

It's NOT a trivial problem, and it'll probably NEVER be perfect, simply because we have the trade off of "we need lots of transmit power to be heard, but we don't want to be heard too far". On top of that, what the various groups want to do with the systems keep changing

The GOOD news - We (meaning everyone) are about to free up a LOT of radio spectrum in a few good bands for this - Nextel is moving their phones off of the 900Mhz band, and Public safety gets that, plus when they turn off analog TV in January of 2009, public saftey radio gets a HUGE chunk of that.

Disclaimer - I'm a Ham, as you might be able to tell by my ID, and I do know people who work on the various NYC radio systems, both as NYC employees, and for the various vendors. I do have a personal preference for one brand of radio, but I won't say which

Anonymous said...

"Deutsche Bank never had a demo permit."

Why am I not surprised?

Anonymous said...

Did Hitler have a demo permit when
he blitz-kreiged Poland?

And where did Himmler do his banking?

Arrogant Nazis in pin stripes!