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  • #31
    Originally posted by mrpita View Post
    I'm done with you; you're simply not rational.

    EDIT: You're still advocating a 15 minute response time. 90% of our fires are rowhome dwellings. We generally have the fire out, not just under control, in 15 minutes. If we didn't respond until 15 minutes, then every fire would be an extra-alarm job. We handle I would guess about 10 fires in a busy day. We would be absolutely depleted if we had to handle 3 extras in a day, let alone 10. Every job in a rowhome would look more like MOVE. I don't know what kind of response you're used to, but here we get upset if we can't hold the fire to one room, let alone one floor. You're proposing that we hold it to one block.
    OK, I'm using a 15 minute response time, for your area the time may be different. We are real happy to hold a fire to one room or floor as well. And we are able to do that with 10 to 15 minute response times. Keep in mind response time for me is measured from the time the person dials the phone until the apparatus is on scene and pumping water.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
      Yeah, it's called NFPA 1710.
      FWIW, NFPA 1710 is a peer consensus standard -- not a "study."
      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
      sigpic
      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by nameless View Post
        Or maybe because "they are the methods that work in urban areas".

        You're an alleged firefighter with alleged experience in a rural to suburban setting? What expertise do you have on urban fire suppression? What experience do you have in providing fire protection to cities? From the sounds of it you have no background in urban fire protection which is a different animal than fighting fire in suburban or rural areas.
        As I stated (or at least should have) the optimal time will vary depending on the area. There are places in Albany where they have built entire blocks all connected to each other. There are others where the house are within 10 to 20 feet of each other. This is horrible idea for exactly the reason stated, exposures; but that is what city people want.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
          And we really aren't discussing rural responses. Additionally, the exposure considerations in the rural area are generally much less of a problem. So a 15+ minute response time might just mean more damage to the building involved, whereas in an urban environment that same response time might just mean multiple buildings involved upon the FD arrival.
          Exactly, there may be sections of city that have more room between buildings or are of newer construction. Response time isn't something you can throw a blanket over.

          Right, but you also have to look at other factors than just cost. My highest cost item personally is my mortgage. Sure I could save a substantial amount of money each month if I stopped paying, but the end result would be losing the house. There would be an economic impact from this - loss of the property itself for resale, etc. and also the loss of a place to live.

          Most of the time it seems that the only focus is on the savings and not much effort is spent looking at the impact. Sure the FD may be attractive for a larger cost savings, but cutting other services (regardless of how worthwhile they may be) may be the better option in the long run.
          Yes, your mortgage is your biggest expense and it is a fixed cost. However, if you situation changes you may be able to work with the mortgage company to get a lower rate or extend the time, thus reducing the payments. You can also do things to cut your food budget. While food is essential, just like the fire service, you can find ways to eat cheaper.

          Not familiar with that discussion.
          It happened several years ago.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
            FWIW, NFPA 1710 is a peer consensus standard -- not a "study."
            Ahh good point, I missed that. I did a search in the research library at school; I got mostly things that talked to EMS response and cardiac arrest.

            Comment


            • #36
              Guys, arguing with scarecrow is similar to trying to administer medicine to a deceased person! It is very useless.

              He does not understand major career fire departments such as Philly, DC, FDNY, Boston. If they closed fire houses or brown out them and a fire occurred in a row house where the first due was closed down they chance of holding this job to a full box isn't going to happen and in all likely hood lives may be lost.

              The Brothers from Philly aren't talking about rural as in upper New York, but a major closely built city that runs more times in a month than some departments run in a month or a year.

              The union contracts have been approved for 1-3 or -1-4, but IMO should be 1-5 and 1-6! No company can operate efficiently with less and it puts a great hardship of a Truck Company operating with 4 members.

              To put EMS equipment in squad car so the Police can be on the scene first isn't going to work. You would have to negotiate with the FOP on this and increase their pay as an EMT. Besides when a squad car or cars is tied up on a call and a EMS call comes in, they can abandon the original call to take the EMS run not does the fire department operate that way either! Also if the police are working an EMS call and a armed robbery come in around the corner at a bank, they certainly can tell the patient to stay there while they run around the corner to catch a crook!

              Too many fire departments get hit hard by the bean counters and city or county administration because we are usually the best ran department in the system and provide a service that no else can do. We also are the department that does not produce a large income for the coffers.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                FWIW, NFPA 1710 is a peer consensus standard -- not a "study."
                Right, but it pretty much fits the bill for this discussion. Obviously, 1 second would be the "ideal" response time because the most "ideal" situation would be for the FD to be there as soon as the fire occurs to limit it's impact. It really doesn't take a study to make this determination. So, the next best thing is a consensus benchmark - NFPA 1710.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
                  Right, but it pretty much fits the bill for this discussion. Obviously, 1 second would be the "ideal" response time because the most "ideal" situation would be for the FD to be there as soon as the fire occurs to limit it's impact. It really doesn't take a study to make this determination. So, the next best thing is a consensus benchmark - NFPA 1710.
                  If response time were the only issue. However, the bigger issue is how to pay for it. There is also the issue of when do increased cost outweigh the benefits received. Unfortunately, the times they are a changing. Private industry is now competing on a global scale. Many call center jobs are outsourced to places like India. I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review that talked about how a job could be outsourced to India where it would cost the business $20 per hour instead of $100 an hour in the U.S. That difference in operating cost means that the worker in India is paid abut $5 compared to the U.S. worker who gets $20. What this means is that our whole scale of economy needs to be lowered to compete on a global level.

                  Rest assured when I tell you this will be an ongoing trend for the next 50 years; if we last that long.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by mrpita View Post
                    And now, a seriious response...



                    Absolutely NOT changing the staffing. There was a VERY hard-fought court battle a few years ago where 1+4 almost became 1+3, we prevailed. (Understand this was before my time, this is what I'm told.) The union lawyer was ok with negotiating away that one guy, and at a union mtg said "Its only ONE F'n guy". At which point he had to retreat from the meeting for his own safety - no exaggeration. No, the union would rather respond to the WHOLE city with just one engine and/or one ladder, so long as that one engine and ladder is staffed 1+3 and 1+4. ("It's the city's job to provide adequate fire protection, it's the union's job to ensure that protection is adequately staffed." - a common refrain regarding this situation) Our contention is, and has been, (since before the original cuts two years ago) that we need an impact study. The city closed companies without studying how response times would be affected, without seeing how best for the remaining companies to pick up slack, without determining how many reponses would be impacting any particular group (geographic, political, socio-economic, etc.), without much forethought at all.

                    As for the chief's aides, they were to be cut in last year's budget, but they found they are just too valuable. Just one example, on incidents, they act as the communications liason between dispatch and fireground tac channels (among other things). They had training and plans in place for extra companies to be assigned on a box for this task. The more they looked into it, they realized they would need four untrained guys to replace the one trained aide. Due to the many tasks (admin and fireground) the aides handle, the chiefs all stood up to the administration and said no. So the aides are no longer being considered for cuts.
                    Pita... to make your point stronger...

                    Results of a study done by the FDNY when they chopped about 60 engines from 5 ff to 4 ff because of the sick time exceeding 7.5%

                    "According to the FDNY's own study, once a five-man engine company arrives at a fire scene, it takes five minutes, 50 seconds more to stretch a hose line to the fifth floor of a fire. When that same company is reduced to four, it takes 10 minutes, 23 seconds more - or about twice as long -- just to start getting water on a fire. Add the average response time of 4:13 on to that number and it would take almost 15 minutes before the FDNY can even begin battling the fire."

                    I love when people down play staffing like its a "luxury" or it's something that isn't required.

                    I agree... 2 guys on an engine CAN do the work of 5...... just don't expect your house to still be standing..

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
                      Exactly, there may be sections of city that have more room between buildings or are of newer construction. Response time isn't something you can throw a blanket over.
                      Actually, I think you can. The objective should be to provide everybody with an appropriate response. The fact that buildings are further apart in one part of the city or of newer construction really shouldn't dictate the response - time wise. The initial fire burns the same regardless of exposure problems, so the response should ideally be the same regardless of where you are within the city. However, the point is in terms of an overall impact on the community, a slower response time in the rural areas will likely have less of an impact than a slower response time in the urban areas and therefore be more acceptable, particularly when you factor in the frequency of fires in both areas.



                      Yes, your mortgage is your biggest expense and it is a fixed cost. However, if you situation changes you may be able to work with the mortgage company to get a lower rate or extend the time, thus reducing the payments.
                      I think you're missing the point here. While it might be possible to renegotiate the mortgage, it's also quite possible that you won't be able to. My point being, the mortgage (or even rent) is an essential expenditure. Sure I could move and find a less expensive place to live, thus achieving the necessary cost savings, however at what cost does that come. If I need a 4 bedroom house for my family, then moving to a 1 bedroom apartment isn't very practical even with the needed cost savings. Maybe the better option is to make a cut somewhere else, like giving up cable TV or eating out frequently.

                      Relating this to the fire service, cutting fire response capabilities may not be the best option even though the cost savings can be found doing so. The better or more appropriate choice may be things like putting off certain capital projects or cutting library hours.


                      You can also do things to cut your food budget. While food is essential, just like the fire service, you can find ways to eat cheaper.
                      Sure, I could find ways to each cheaper, but that may not be better for me in the long run.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
                        If response time were the only issue. However, the bigger issue is how to pay for it. There is also the issue of when do increased cost outweigh the benefits received. Unfortunately, the times they are a changing. Private industry is now competing on a global scale. Many call center jobs are outsourced to places like India. I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review that talked about how a job could be outsourced to India where it would cost the business $20 per hour instead of $100 an hour in the U.S. That difference in operating cost means that the worker in India is paid abut $5 compared to the U.S. worker who gets $20. What this means is that our whole scale of economy needs to be lowered to compete on a global level.

                        Rest assured when I tell you this will be an ongoing trend for the next 50 years; if we last that long.
                        I understand the link you're trying to make, however we're talking about municipal government, so we really aren't talking about global competition in terms of government services - public safety.

                        I realize that things may not be able to continue "as is" and we'll continue to see closures and brownouts in order to meet financial objectives. However, I take issue with the politician's claims that their actions "will not impact" response times, services provided or whatever because it's an outright lie. I also take issue with the "suck it up" attitudes like yours. We may not be able to change the course, but it is our duty to speak up on actions that will negatively impact our ability to serve our citizens in the manor they may (or should) expect of us.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by GFPD2005 View Post
                          Has the union proposed reducing ladder staffing to 1+3 instead of 1+4 to prevent brownouts? I am a union firefighter and I know what I am suggesting might seem unthinkable to some. What about Battalion Chief aides? Is that an absolute necessity?

                          You are nutter than scarecrow on large career fire departments. Being a Union FF as you say, you have led a sheltered life and should be flogged for even saying cutting Truck Co's back to 4 members!

                          I think many larger departments in America need to realize that any company staffed in excess of 4 is a luxury. I would rather have 27 ladder companies with 4 riding than rolling brownouts.

                          AGAIN YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FIRE OPERATIONS! Are you any kin to scarecrow? You both think alike!

                          I totally agree that it is BS that the fire department is getting the brunt of the cuts for the city budget. I also think the city should tell the fire administration and union how much needs to be cut and let them decide what needs to go. In this case I think reduced ladder staffing and perhaps elimination of batt. chief aides is preferable to brownouts and increased response times.



                          I'm sure glad they kept the libraries open. If I ever visit Philly I am glad I won't have to worry about showing up at a library and it being closed.
                          From that statement you have never been around a department or with one that had chief aides. If you had, you wouldn't have made such a dumb statement.
                          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

                          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
                            Actually, I think you can. The objective should be to provide everybody with an appropriate response. The fact that buildings are further apart in one part of the city or of newer construction really shouldn't dictate the response - time wise. The initial fire burns the same regardless of exposure problems, so the response should ideally be the same regardless of where you are within the city. However, the point is in terms of an overall impact on the community, a slower response time in the rural areas will likely have less of an impact than a slower response time in the urban areas and therefore be more acceptable, particularly when you factor in the frequency of fires in both areas.
                            Ahh yes, the magical appropriate response time. I'm sure we have beat that to death. Defining appropriate is a tough thing. We cover an area where some places are 10 miles from the station. That means a response time of 15 to 20 minutes. So when you look at things like that response times of 3 or 4 minutes are fantastic. Of course in a city where you can have a higher call volume you can justify additional stations based on that criteria.

                            Also in a perfect situation the FD is responding 24 x 7, that is there is no down time. And there is no need for mutual aid.

                            Finally, response times will always have to vary. When addressing response times it is more useful to speak of the min, max, average, and median.

                            I think you're missing the point here. While it might be possible to renegotiate the mortgage, it's also quite possible that you won't be able to. My point being, the mortgage (or even rent) is an essential expenditure. Sure I could move and find a less expensive place to live, thus achieving the necessary cost savings, however at what cost does that come. If I need a 4 bedroom house for my family, then moving to a 1 bedroom apartment isn't very practical even with the needed cost savings. Maybe the better option is to make a cut somewhere else, like giving up cable TV or eating out frequently.

                            Relating this to the fire service, cutting fire response capabilities may not be the best option even though the cost savings can be found doing so. The better or more appropriate choice may be things like putting off certain capital projects or cutting library hours.
                            That is from the perspective of a fire fighter. An educator will have problems closing the library and will make an equally good argument for keeping it open. It will keep kids off the street, provide for a better educated public, which in turn will reduce crimes and murders. Cutting capital projects works for a short term fix. Eventually you still have to do the repaving, repair the roof, and other such projects.

                            Sure, I could find ways to each cheaper, but that may not be better for me in the long run.
                            Never said it would be better for you, but it is what you have to do. Instead of pre-packaged foods you make then yourself. Example, a package of chocolate chip cookies cost $4.00. You can make those same cookies at home from scratch for $2.00 and they are better for you.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
                              I understand the link you're trying to make, however we're talking about municipal government, so we really aren't talking about global competition in terms of government services - public safety.

                              I realize that things may not be able to continue "as is" and we'll continue to see closures and brownouts in order to meet financial objectives. However, I take issue with the politician's claims that their actions "will not impact" response times, services provided or whatever because it's an outright lie. I also take issue with the "suck it up" attitudes like yours. We may not be able to change the course, but it is our duty to speak up on actions that will negatively impact our ability to serve our citizens in the manor they may (or should) expect of us.
                              The globalization has the effect of lowering the wages of the people who support the public services. As those wages continue to shrink the money available to the government also shrinks. With Union contracts in place it is not possible to cut wages or salaries. The cost of maintaining the equipment and facilities is fixed. The only place to make cuts is with personnel, new equipment, or closing stations. And don't think that municipal jobs can't be farmed out as well. There is absolutely no reason a 911 call center couldn't be located elsewhere. In fact, there would be an advantage to outsourcing the call center to multiple locations. If one center goes down for any reason the other centers would continue to operate.

                              As for the "suck it up" attitude. Private industry workers have been doing that for some time. Take a look at Detroit where factory workers used to earn $100,000 a year. Now if they are lucky enough to have a job they might earn $40,000. You are correct to speak out about things that will negatively impact the output of the service. As long as you understand there is not much anyone can do to change the current trend except close our borders to imports and keep all the jobs here. I still recall the time someone on here made a joke about how a lot of IT jobs are being outsourced to India. The fool didn't realize that all of this outsourcing will eventually affect his pay.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Hey - let's jut look at the bottom line, literally. Last year your allowance was $2.00 a week. This year it's $1.75. That is not negotiable. Figure out how to make that $1.75 last. It might mean you only buy 4 packs of bubble gum instead of 5, or buy the bubble gum without the baseball cards. Your choice.

                                The city of Philadelphia apparently doesn't have the money to pay for fire protection at its current level. We can talk until we're blue in the face about ideal staffing levels, response time, et al, but that isn't going to make any money appear.

                                No, it's not how we ought to be doing business, but it appears to be how we will have to do business. So we have to deal with it and figure out how to do the best job we can with what we have to work with.

                                Firefighters tend to be pretty good at that.
                                Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                                Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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