The NY Daily News has confirmed the rumors swirling around FDNY Chief of EMS Abdo Nahmod‘s departure from the position. The article says:
Chief Abdo Nahmod has announced his plans to retire, sources told the Daily News. His second in command, Assistant Chief Jerry Gombo, has also put in his papers….
Nahmod, who makes more than $168,000 a year, and Gombo, who makes more than $145,000, opted to retire rather than accept new, less important positions as the agency reshuffles its top brass, according to FDNY insiders.
A Fire Department spokesman said neither man has officially retired and would not comment further.
You may recall that Chief Nahmod came into the position on the heels of the political assasination of Chief John Peruggia to cover for the incompetency of NYC OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty during the Christmas week Blizzaggedon of 2010. So let’s take a quick look at why Chief Nahmod may be getting shown the door despite there not being a blizzard that paralyzes the city.
Had Charges Against Melissa Jackson Dropped
The now infamous Au Bon Pain Incident (where two FDNY dispatchers refused to even see a patient because they were on their coffee break) left a black-eye on the FDNY Communications Division (which Chief Nahmod was over seeing at the time) and saw EMT Melissa Jackson charged with Official Misconduct. The case never made it to a courtroom because on the eve of the trial then Chief of EMS Nahmod asked that the charges be dropped.
Response Times Increased
During his tenure average response times to Segments 1-8 have increased:
- 2011 – 8:08
- 2012 – 8:27
- 2013 – 9:24
- 2014 – 9:23
Source: FDNY Citywide Statistics
The response time issue was highlighted when Mayor DeBlasio blasted the department in April of 2014 after a delayed response to a fatal fire which was AFTER the delayed response to the vehicular homicide of 4-year old Ariel Russo at the beginning of 2014 was found to be human error.
Yeah, there’s really not much else that he’s done.
So with his departure the question becomes… who’s next? The Daily News article‘s sources are suggesting that FDNY Division Chief James Booth is next in line for the seat. Moving up with him as his deputy is rumored to be (rather ironically) FDNY Chief of Emergency Medical Dispatch Michael Fitton.
Regardless of who is stepping into the role the challenges ahead will require a shift from the typical FDNY-solo-act superiority complex mentality to one that embraces the agencies role as team leader for its peer EMS agencies in the region.