Mike Flaherty’s Plan for Disabled Firefighters


1215611361Boston Daily just received a press release from city councilor Michael Flaherty’s office that stands in stark contrast to Mayor Tom Menino’s reaction to “disabled” firefighter, and competitive bodybuilder, Albert Arroyo.

Instead of calling for an investigation into the doctors who grant disability claims, the rumored mayoral hopeful wants to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.

This is crazy talk!

While I certainly support efforts to reform the state’s disability policies in a way that eliminates opportunity to abuse the system, I also believe that we need to look into why so many of our firefighters are prone to debilitating injuries and more importantly, what we can do to help prevent or minimize opportunities to get hurt on the job.

It sounds an awful lot like what Local 718 President Ed Kelly told Boston magazine he wants for his men.

The city says Kelly’s union won’t talk about drug and alcohol testing, outside of demanding money for doing it. The union says in exchange for testing, it only wants a wellness program—which the Menino administration says basically amounts to paying firefighters to stay in shape.

Sounds like somebody’s courting the fire department for a possible endorsement.

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