Friday, August 29, 2008


Elyria – “I’m tired of fighting politics; I’d rather fight fires with my Brother Firefighters where I can truly make a difference.” Elyria Interim Fire Chief Joseph Pronesti.

In a conversation with Chief Pronesti today he confirmed that he has sent a letter to Mayor Grace and all of City Council that as of November 15th he wants to go back to working on shift with the Firefighters.

When Pronesti agreed to take on the roll as Interim Chief it was understood that per the Civil Service Rules that he could only hold that position for 6 months. Pronesti said that he really misses working on shift with the other Firefighters and that he feels his work there will be more productive.

Tom Kelley, Director of Lorain County Emergency Management Agency and Home Land Security, said that whoever fills the position will continue the work that Pronesti has done in working with all of the Fire Departments throughout the county. “It was never more evident then during the General Industry fire – Full Time, Part Time or Volunteer, it didn’t matter – everyone worked together and that is the way it is suppose to be. I hope that if he does choose not to remain as Chief, that the person who takes that position continues that, and continue in that direction. We all need to support each other when something happens like that on a large scale.”

Pronesti was widely praised by local Fire Chiefs and others for how he ran the operations at the General Industries fire. Kelley said that 24 departments from six counties were utilized during that fire. GENERAL INDUSTRY FIRE PHOTO GALLERY

Pronesti will speak Tuesday night at City Council to make everything official.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a shame.... Joe did a nice job!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I agree with Tom Kelley, I think under Chief Pronesti the relationships between Departments County wide have greatly improved. I hope this changes and he remains as Chief, I would hate to see all of his work deteriorate and things go back to the way they were before. I am a proud paid part time firefighter and happy to assist Elyria with Chief Pronesti anytime. Thanks Chief.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I see Grace ran another one off. Joe would have been a good Chief. I wish these recall people would hurry up and get their act together. This guy has to go.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Joe. You are doing a fine job. Just goes to show you what kind of b/s you have to put up with with the city administration. Haas

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Joe..... We earn the real money on the Rigs. Anyways thats where the FUN is!

EFD Engine Co.3
Lorain Blvd. @ Bell

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really is a shame, Joe has done alot to bring honesty and integrity to the position. That is way more then I can say for some other positions in this town. Joe, think twice about this decision of yours, your men need someone like you in this position, don't let politics once again run a good person off. Mr Mayor, shame on you.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last chief is off because he has medical problems brought on by fighting politics and now the city will lose a new chief because he sees how hard it is to fight local politics. Anyone want to guess where the problem lies?

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really sorry to hear this Chief! To bad about the political BS! I have enjoyed working with you, Hope you change your mind!!!!
The little guy needs to grow up!

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this Chief! You are doing a very good job! It is a shame you are throughing in the towel because of Political BS. It has been a pleasure to work with you! Wish you would reconsider this decision. The little man needs to grow up!

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really sorry to hear this Chief Pronesti! Being a Fire Chief's wife, I have heard nothing but good about you and the job you are doing!!!! I wish you would
rethink your decision! The Departments in this county appreciate the fact that you are utilizing all Fire Personnel when needed!! Think this over again and remember you are dealing with little man syndrome!!!!!!

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stick with it Joe. The little fella will be gone soon and you can get back to running the dept. the way it should be run.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We earn the real money on the Rigs."

You mean, "We milk the overtime on the Rigs."

8:34 AM  
Anonymous karl said...

Did anyone notice that Pronesti may not have a choice? In the article, it states that Civil Service rules only allow him to be in the position for six months. Whatever other factors are involved, he may (by this rule) not be allowed to continue in the position. I don't know (but don't seem to recall reading) if any mention was made of this when he was appointed to the position.
Also, was a little disappointed in the "we earn the real money on the rigs" comment. Seems a little cold-hearted.
Anyway, sorry to see Pronesti out of the position. Looks like he was real-respected by all the comments and wish him the best wherever he is in the department.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the Union Brothers should get the IAFF to help fight this administration. I think Chief Pronesti should seek the help of the IAFC and break it off in the rears of the city that is screwing up my city that I grew up in! This city could be so great, but they are getting a real screw job by this administration.

Joe, get your brothers up in arms and fight these bastards!!!!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an outright shame, and the public should be in disgust over this. I know I am!

I've watched this dept go from having low moral to finally starting to come together, and now this? Joe, I commend you for being the person you are, and The Chief you are to the whole dept. I also want to apologize for the way you have been overlooked on ideas, and became a political game. You have a vast amount of professional experience, and you truly care about the citizens of Elyria. Mr. Grace you need to just pack your bags, now..Because of Joe hands in his resignation Tuesday; yours better be right behind!!


10:28 AM  
Blogger dirtdigger said...

I’ll 2nd that Joe, please stick with it for the sake of City of Elyria. We need you to take full charge of our Fire Department, restore it back as it was in its hay day as you said you wanted to do.

I hope you have heard about the Recall effort underway; it is getting stronger day by day so Joe let us hope your letter of resignation doesn’t go into effect till after Nov. 4 2008 because change is coming to the City of Elyria.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earn it / Milk it!? what ever you want to call it (Mr. Anonymous). Your city got themselves into the position that we are in....HIRE THE MEN and THE OVERTIME GOES AWAY....And I dont care how much they pay me...Have have done this job for FREE also.

Ffr. J.Castle
EFD Engine Co. 3
Lorain Blvd. @ Bell

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All citizens and firefighters should attend Tuesday night to show support. This is a shame what is happening.

Tuesday 7PM sign up before right at the council chamber's doors to speak.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention all County Fire Chiefs, Firefighters, etc.

Be there in Council Chambers to support Chief Pronesti

He needs you, it took "big ones" to do what he did. We owe to him as a brother

An EFD member

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me put to rest this; "WE EARN THE REAL MONEY ON THE RIGS." This was in no way shape or form to degrade Joe in his position, or to make an assumption that we are money hungry for Graces pockets! It is simply making an acknowledgement, that we all start on the rigs. And that's where we have earned our rewards in whatever shape or form they may have arrived for us. Funny how no one jumped on the part that it's "FUN" on rigs. Because just when you think we all ran out of fun around here, we still hold our heads high.

EFD Engine Co. 3
Lorain Blvd. @ Bell

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOrry, but the rod QUITER keeps coming to mind. Why battle for your dept or men, just quit

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Joe should stick to his guns and stand up to the administration and I think that the city needs a true patriot like Joe to make things right with the department and always remember that attitude reflects leadarship so I hope that Joe will never set an example that firefighters ever give up or back down because that would deprive our true heros from hope and hope is what will give you strength in the end so stand up and fight the biggest fire of them all Joe and put out the flames of this administration...oops sorry I just realized that wrote a really long run on sentance with no punctuation...hope everyone still understood it...EFD are true brothers and true heros!

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey the writer who needs "hook on phonics" Pronesti isn't quitting he is doing whats right for him and his FAMILY.

The administration was driving a wedge between all of his.

Slow down when you type you will get the words out better.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all of you that are shouting quitter...would you work for a boss that changes his mind on an issue two to three times A DAY for weeks and months on end? Yes you can do that, um no you cant, um yea, thats ok, no wait, oh, im going to let you do that, but MY way, no, you know what? Just forget about the whole thing, im retracting my offer....wait, no, my offer is still good, your offer is good also, as long as its written and done MY way. Your the chief, head of the department, but, you have to run it MY way. Screw that. I dont blame him for not wanting to put up with a mentally disturbed persons mind games for power slinging.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Quitter? If you read the story it says that he signed on to be interim Chief for 6 months, he is only saying that at the end of that time he wants to return to shift. IF he were the quitter you claim him to be then he would say I am quitting as of right now. Even though he has problems with this administration he is man enough to keep his commitment and work until November 15th.

Also, what kind of example must you be to post anonymous snide remarks on a website. That to me is what is SAD.

Michael Petruzzi

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quiter? Joe Pronesti is NO quiter. The writer who talked about this Mayor changing his mind by the hour about a deal he came up with and now wont do it, that writer is correct. Ask Pronesti about this. Ask Councilmen Callahan and Brubaker who worked with others to get the Mayor to do what is right and yet he still refused to listen. Ask them, they came to our union meeting. They know the truth.

EFD union brother!

5:04 PM  
Blogger dirtdigger said...

I think “hook on phonics” is right up some certain supporters ally of you know who because the way they act their mentally still in High School.

Why would some one post something like this?

Anonymous said...

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Being a city worker in the City of Elyria.. Joe has done a great job. He has tried very hard to upgrade, make is Dept better, and safer. Also I am a part time Firefighter. So I respect him as Chief. Being fellow firefighter and co-worker. I praise him for fighting with city hall. Good Job Chief!


6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To All The Citizens of Elyria:

If you truly care about your fire department, or safety forces for that matter, come to the meeting Tuesday at 7:00 pm.

If you have children growing up in this community, I urge you to come to this meeting.

If you are a firefighter in another city, township or village please come to this meeting and show the support for Joe and the whole department.

We can't keep allowing the administration to push this dept around anymore!! I said it once and I'm saying it twice.

If anyone deserves to go anywhere its the admin and starting with Grace...!!!

Face the Issues; And quit having a personal grudge against this whole dept.

Joe has done an outstanding job, and I feel he so rightfully deserves to be Chief, but, not if he feels nothing he does matters. And that is the way I see it. Grace wants it his way, or NO WAY!!

I will be there Tuesday, and bring as many people as I can.

I hope the media, including Channel 3,5,8, 19 and The Plain Dealer show up. Somebody needs to really look at Elyria, Ohio and the whole county as far as that goes!!

10:27 PM  
Anonymous karl said...

I still don't see anyone else seeing how Pronesti could continue in the position even if he wanted to. The story states that "per Civil Service rules" he can only hold the position for six months. So even if he wanted to continue in the position, by those rules, he can't. Sorry to see that he is hindered by those rules. The only other way would be for the current chief to retire prior to November 15th, but that's not likely to happen.
He's done well in the position and his motto until November should be "illegitimi non carborundum." Just keep thinking that when you have to deal with some of the people you have to in that position. Good luck!

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the interim position expires in 6 months. He could become permanant Chief afterwards.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody please tell me how adding 27 more firefighters (that's staffing of 23 per shift with 16 minimum for you union boys) @ $70k/year, for a total of $1,890,000 is going to save the $600k in overtime costs?? sounds like the same old union story - priced themselves out of a job or proper staffing.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Somebody please tell me how adding 27 more firefighters (that's staffing of 23 per shift with 16 minimum for you union boys) @ $70k/year, for a total of $1,890,000 is going to save the $600k in overtime costs?? sounds like the same old union story - priced themselves out of a job or proper staffing.

Not sure where your numbers are coming from (probably billy-boy)?!?!? But, it is only 9 new hires at roughly $43k per year. Which = $387k.

Further, THE ADMIN. approves the raises!!!!! Plus, the FD recieved lower raises than some of the other Depts and the Admin.

If your gonna dig a pool to swim in, bring a back hoe, not a shovel. You'll get much deeper!!!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny - I thought Chief Joe was asking for 23 per shift with min of 17 on duty. I don't care how you slice it up, whether you have 23 on duty or 17 on duty, you are still paying for 23! Or do you guys decline a paycheck for vacation/holidays? And $43k? I figure you forgot to add that 35% funds for benefits - or are you declining health care too? That runs it up to about $58k each, and hey don't forget that contract increase for each year... loads of higher ranking (paid) officers, etc etc etc. I say just like GM, you guys are pricing yourselves out of a job!

8:40 PM  

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