Tracking the Boston Fire Department


1216997090Yesterday we pointed out that a press release about the most recent firefighter scandal issued by city councilor Mike Flaherty echoed some of the requests the Local 718 has made of the city. In that same communique, Flaherty gave Mayor Tom Menino a coded “I told you so.”

Had CitiStat been implemented three years ago when I first called upon the city to adopt it, the city could have tracked absenteeism, disability claims and the very doctors treating reported injuries.

But as a City Hall insider points out to us, the city has tracked two of those three criteria since 2006.

On page 232 of the City’s budget (scroll down) there’s an entire page dedicated to tracking the number of sick or injured firefighters, including data on how many employees are out on accidental disability retirement. The number of firefighters collecting disability jumped from 52 in 2007 to a projected 78 in 2008. Which kind of stood out to us.

Is this another example of Flaherty not skimming the budget index and missing some important information? Not quite. In today’s Herald, the councilor clarifies his meaning.

Flaherty said that with Citi-Stat, city officials might have been able to investigate Arroyo and other disabled firefighters as soon as a pattern of abuse emerged.

Hey, we know a couple of guys who can get the city a great deal on some software.