This site is a free service for communication, self-expression and freedom of speech. We believe this site increases the availability of information, encourages healthy debate, and makes possible new connections between people.
While reporting on topics, we will ask the questions some newspapers don't. We will print the questions that some newspapers won't.
All sources of information are confidential.

Email The Fact of The Matter at:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hamilton House Fire, Fire Department Manpower Shortage Manifested

On March 21st The Fact of The Matter posted a story about the manpower shortage within the Westfield Fire Department as a result of the Town of Westfield's refusal to hire/replace the firefighters that have retired and those that will soon retire. 

The unexpected deaths of firefighters Pfeiffer and Maglione were after the Westfield fireman's union settled their contract with the Town.  Givebacks included 70% of their Holiday Pay and a 0% raise in order to avoid any 2011 layoffs. 

The Fact of the Matter is the FMBA union did not include the "giveback" of two positions due to the untimely passing of two of it's beloved men. 

These brave firefighters were employed before and after the union contract was settled. 

TFOTM asks Mayor Skibitsky, Town Administrator Jim Gildea, and the Westfield Town Council........When are you going to replace at least these two positions?

The recent fire that nearly cost the life of a Westfield resident at the Hamilton House on Mountain Ave. should be a wake up call to local officials.  More structures will be lost to fire as a result of the reduced manpower directly associated with municipal budget cuts. 

Once, again, MISMANAGEMENT is clearly to blame.  Mayor, when will you address the wasteful spending within the police department  that TFOTM has repeatedly pointed out here. 

Save a firefighter a life.

Go to the following link for TFoTM blog on WFD manpower shortage:

Go to the following link for the Westfield Patch's coverage of Hamilton House fire:


  1. The mayor has fire chief kelly in his back pockket and between the two of them they will allow the fire departments numbers to fall that's why only 3 firemen were first on the scene of the fire where that man almost died when there were not enough firemen to help put out the fire and it got out of control

  2. Until Gildea's house burns down the fire department will continue to be understaffed and everyone in town will be less safe. This began with Castellano's bullying management style and has only gotten worse with Kelly.

  3. I have an electrical problem at the Duncan Hill Apartments in Westfield and think I went to Gildea and Kelly for help... that is the reason why probably no one cares if a fire happens probably because they are all tied up within each other