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  • Time to suck it up and consolidate?

    Take a look at the front page. Station closings, layoffs, increased reliance on mutual aid. Big problems for us. What would cost saving do for us?
    One county wide dept everywhere.
    Hell, in some states, a state wide dept. One turnout gear spec, one apparatus spec, one EMS spec, so on, and so forth.
    No worrying about mutual aid (unless its REALLY big), or radio interoperability, or playing nice with other depts.
    Not to mention (sorry!) getting rid of one station FDs with their own Chief and Assistant Chief.
    I think the cost saving and ease of use will outweigh the initial growing pains, but that my opinion.
    Lets hear it from the rest of the nation.....
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  • #2
    Too many big fish in small ponds for it to happen any time soon. Egos
    ?

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    • #3
      you'll need money upfront to do it, money that isn't there. There are a lot of issues with consolidation that won't be easy or cheap. It may be better in the long run, but right now I don't see people being able to see past the mountain. Thats assuming it'll even be better to consolidate, which Im not sure of.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nameless View Post
        Thats assuming it'll even be better to consolidate, which Im not sure of.
        Such as?

        Damn 10 characheters....
        AJ, MICP, FireMedic
        Member, IACOJ.
        FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
        This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BLSboy View Post
          ...
          I think the cost saving and ease of use...
          Show me some actual cost savings.

          Also, explain ease of use? Are you having trouble using your apparatus/equipment?
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
            Show me some actual cost savings.

            Also, explain ease of use? Are you having trouble using your apparatus/equipment?
            Bones, of all people, I would have thought you and the other NJ guys would see. How many VFDs are trying to "keep up with the Jones's" in the next town, or even next Fire Co. over?
            They got a 75ft Quint? We'll get a 100fter. How many towns have multiple Companies with multiple pieces of apparatus?
            Take a look inside an MICU lately? You need a degree in radio engineering to communicate.
            Don't get me started on Communications. How many different systems, frequencies, and local "comm rooms" with one dispatcher per town, borough, township, or city does there need to be?

            Mama /\/\ LOVES Jersey.
            AJ, MICP, FireMedic
            Member, IACOJ.
            FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
            This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BLSboy View Post
              Bones, of all people, I would have thought you and the other NJ guys would see. How many VFDs are trying to "keep up with the Jones's" in the next town, or even next Fire Co. over?
              They got a 75ft Quint? We'll get a 100fter. How many towns have multiple Companies with multiple pieces of apparatus?
              Take a look inside an MICU lately? You need a degree in radio engineering to communicate.
              Don't get me started on Communications. How many different systems, frequencies, and local "comm rooms" with one dispatcher per town, borough, township, or city does there need to be?

              Mama /\/\ LOVES Jersey.
              That won't be solved by consolidation. Now instead of 2 companies in the same town competing, it'll be county vs. county. Changing to one single wasteful apparatus spec instead of every little dept coming up with their own won't save much money. Radio systems could be combined without going into a single department, many places have county wide PSAPs and dispatching.

              The whole system of fire districts should be abolished, fire protection should be the duty of the municipality.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BLSboy View Post
                Bones, of all people, I would have thought you and the other NJ guys would see. How many VFDs are trying to "keep up with the Jones's" in the next town, or even next Fire Co. over?
                They got a 75ft Quint? We'll get a 100fter. How many towns have multiple Companies with multiple pieces of apparatus?
                Take a look inside an MICU lately? You need a degree in radio engineering to communicate.
                Don't get me started on Communications. How many different systems, frequencies, and local "comm rooms" with one dispatcher per town, borough, township, or city does there need to be?

                Mama /\/\ LOVES Jersey.
                I agree. I think there could be significant savings.. but why stop there?

                Why does every square mile of Bergen County have it's own mayor and council? Why do we have hundreds of school districts? The FD is the least bang for your consolidation buck you'll get (where the majority is volunteer).

                This is how consolidation should go... in order:

                School Districts
                "Boroughs" should be rolled up into Townships or even County Governments
                Police should be County Run
                Public Works/Sanitation should be county run
                BLS should be privately provided
                ALS should be County Run (and for god's sake medevacs shouldn't be NJSP)
                FD should be consolidated
                Last edited by ChiefKN; 08-12-2010, 11:40 PM.
                I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nameless View Post
                  The whole system of fire districts should be abolished, fire protection should be the duty of the municipality.
                  Fire Tax districts should be eliminated. Talk about a waste of tax money.
                  I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                  "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                  "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To answer and make it easy. Who is more resistant to change than anyone?

                    =fire service. Like it was mentioned before Egos will not allow it even though it would be way more cost effective.
                    All the points of bulk purchases made will obviously save money. Can you honestly tell me if you order 1 engine instead of 10 you would pay the same per engine? Same goes for all other equipment purchased as well as admin staff in small towns.
                    Look at the rest of the world in the private sector where the big fish just eat up the little fish as bigger is more cost effective in most cases and little fish have tough times surviving.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oilboy2 View Post
                      To answer and make it easy. Who is more resistant to change than anyone?

                      =fire service. Like it was mentioned before Egos will not allow it even though it would be way more cost effective.
                      All the points of bulk purchases made will obviously save money. Can you honestly tell me if you order 1 engine instead of 10 you would pay the same per engine? Same goes for all other equipment purchased as well as admin staff in small towns.
                      Look at the rest of the world in the private sector where the big fish just eat up the little fish as bigger is more cost effective in most cases and little fish have tough times surviving.
                      I love it when the "look at the private sector argument" comes up.

                      How many big $$$$ corporations have come to Uncle Sam for bailouts?
                      ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oilboy2 View Post
                        To answer and make it easy. Who is more resistant to change than anyone?

                        =fire service. Like it was mentioned before Egos will not allow it even though it would be way more cost effective.
                        All the points of bulk purchases made will obviously save money. Can you honestly tell me if you order 1 engine instead of 10 you would pay the same per engine? Same goes for all other equipment purchased as well as admin staff in small towns.
                        Look at the rest of the world in the private sector where the big fish just eat up the little fish as bigger is more cost effective in most cases and little fish have tough times surviving.
                        Fire engines pale in comparison to labor costs.
                        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Consolidation for financial reasons rarely pans out. Look at the thousands of school districts nationwide. Consolidation to provide streamlined services at a reasonable cost is a better model. Sometimes there is money to be saved, other times (often), not so much. Areas of predominantly career staffed departments probably have more savings to find. The geography and demographics set the tone for what is feasible and what isn't.

                          People hear regionalization, consolidation and duplication of services and get all kinds of ideas about savings without truly looking at the real costs. It can be done successfully with a quality assessment of the needs and buy in from the majority of the players, but without either of those, failure is imminent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oilboy2 View Post
                            To answer and make it easy. Who is more resistant to change than anyone?

                            =fire service. Like it was mentioned before Egos will not allow it even though it would be way more cost effective.
                            All the points of bulk purchases made will obviously save money. Can you honestly tell me if you order 1 engine instead of 10 you would pay the same per engine? Same goes for all other equipment purchased as well as admin staff in small towns.
                            Look at the rest of the world in the private sector where the big fish just eat up the little fish as bigger is more cost effective in most cases and little fish have tough times surviving.
                            So how do you save money absorbing a bunch of $20K a year VFD's? It's not realistic in many parts of this country to compare the compliance with standards between VFD's and career FD's. The cost of compliance is high and ignoring it is far less an option when your a career fire chief, not the "elected beer buddy". I'm sure that in Canada there is more government oversight into FD business than here, making this hopefully less of a problem?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As noted in a similar thread over on the volunteer forum, there are places where consolidation seems lika a no-brainer. Four fully equipped, stand-alone fire departments in less than 10 square miles? One of which is completely overlapped, response-wise) by the other three? Look at the links for Whitestown, NY.

                              Or a fire department that was formed in hand-cart days whose station is just a mile or two from another fire department/station.

                              Those examples notwithstanding, consolidation may or may not mean closing stations. But in todays world of limited volunteer resources, it may mean that instead of two engines, a tanker, a rescue/squad, and maybe even a truck, a station may be down to just a couple of apparatus which respond as part of a "team". And, since they don't have to worry about getting six rigs on the road, they can fully staff just one or two.

                              Every case is different, and each must be taken on its own merits. I will opine, though, that consolidation for the sake of consolidation rarely works out as planned.
                              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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