Ten Years of Hank
Hank Investigates: Ten Years of Hank
Local fire departments in critical condition -- the "Cause for Alarm", equipment dangerously outdated and unreliable, firefighters working in deplorable conditions.
We found Staffing levels so low some departments told us we can't always get to the fire in time.
"Do People know how much danger they're in?"
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Investigative Reporter
"I donít think so."
Our two-part statewide survey of fire departments was shown on Capitol Hill as part of a congressional investigation. Soon after congress made $100 million in grant money available for firefighters across the country.
And we found you may have "No Way Out" if there is fire, we found fire escapes in apartments, dormitories, theaters and homes deteriorating and dangerous.
"This fire escape is going to put someone in the hospital or in the cemetery."
We proved the law designed to keep fire escapes safe is being ignored.
Tom Riley, State Building Dept.
"The potential ramifications are disastrous."
We also proved your 911 call may get "Lost in the System". We analyzed 911 emergency calls, something that has never been done before and found dozens of times a day emergency crews may be sent to the wrong address!
What's more the state official in charge admitted she was unaware of the extensive problems.
"Why didnít you know about his until now?"
"I don't have an answer for that. I should know."
She was soon out and the 911 system was reorganized.
One of our undercover camera investigations revealed bugs, rodents and mold in hundreds of apartments. We revealed the "Secret Slumlord" was the state of Massachusetts!
Tenants of state-run housing developments took our stories to the governorís office. Soon after lawmakers appropriated more than $250 million for rehab and renovation.
Homebuyers too, ripped off by the system, who was "Inspecting the Inspectors"? No one! We revealed incompetent, unreliable home inspectors misleading customers.
"So, you had mold?"
Peter Vitale, Victim
The statehouse took action and now, every home inspector must be registered and licensed by the state.
We found your kids going to school in "Crumbling Classrooms" leaky moldy basements, bathrooms, even coat closets. We asked, "Whereís the School Nurse" and our survey of every school in the state and found many with no heath care. We found "Dirty Cafeterias" in schools across the state failing health inspections or not inspected at all.
And with a hidden camera we caught "Dangerous Drivers" time after time driver putting kids at risk and breaking the laws, speeding past school buses when they're required to stop.
"Does that happen every day?"
"It happens every day."
Soon after our story, lawmakers made the penalties for passing a school bus five times higher.
St. Rep. Tim Toomey, Chair, Cmte. on Public Safety
"I want to thank you for doing that investigative report and to highlight the issues of a very serious public safety violation."
Many of our big stories began with tips from viewers like you, which proves how much change can take place when someone just picks up the phone.