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PGFD gone bankrupt!

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  • #16
    Are there really NO other departments that don't get these kinds of warnings toward the end of the budget year? Thats what it sounds like to me. It's an annual thing for me at work and for certain items as a volunteer. Never thought of changing response assignments to save fuel, but I'll bet that doesn't happen either.

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    • #17
      Halligan_84 is right on the money. Tight budgets are the norm this late in the fiscal year. For PG to tighten up on unnecessary expenses just means the budget is stretched thin -- not that they're "bankrupt."

      All it takes are a few unexpected or underbudgetted expenses over the course of the year to screw up the best budget projections. It isn't the end of the world. =)

      macsen


      ------------------
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      8 years fire captain
      20 years fire service
      BS Fire Science
      FO-II,FSI-II,SO,HMT,PSE
      Past Volunteer

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      • #18
        I don't know when PG County finalizes next year's budget...but this is the time of the year towns in my area start to send their budgets for final approval before the new fiscal year starts on July 1.

        In the grand scheme of politics, it might not be coincendental that they're so "tight" on money this year that they might change responses to save money. See, we really need more money for fuel & repairs. See, those ERT positions that got cut only cost us more $$$ in overtime.

        The other side is just as dangerous -- if a department is run like a clock, keeps it's budget under target and provides just as good service as it had planned, then the financial people go "Oh look, they don't need as much money as they had last year. Let's cut their budget." If you directly report to such managers, it's not in your best interest to save your expenses for the end of the year -- they might deny the purchases and cut the budget since you had "too much money."

        I'm speculating, but such shenagins are certainly not unprecedented in government finance.

        When I was going to college I worked seasonally for the State Parks. One year during a tight budget season we closed a campground in our unit that was right on the state highway for "budget reasons." Of course, we employed just as many fulltime and seasonal maintainers, patrolmen, and lifeguards as the year before. Even kept open the other campground 1.5 miles away, so we had the same evening shift staffing; plus we still had to patrol the whole park so we spent just as much gas as when we had two parks open. We were even told we couldn't do certain things specifically to make it seem we where understaffed. Net effect: Same expenses, but less revenue since fewer campsites could be rented. Of course it was all politics -- the State DEP trying to show the "pain" of the budget meanwhile spending just as much as always but providing less services.

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        • #19
          I read in the WASHINGTON POST article about Ron leaving for FFM / ICHIEFS that he led an 850 member department. My question is...where the h*ll are these 850 people?

          With 850 members he (or the next chief) could staff...

          10 24h Stations with 4 men
          2 24h B/Cs
          1 24h D/C
          35 40h/wk Stations with 4 men
          6 40h/wk B/Cs
          20 24h Ambulances/Medic Units
          20 12h (Peak Time) Ambulances/Medic Units
          Each of these would be rostered with extra men for AL/SL/etc, the above numbers would be MINIMUM daily staffing.

          He would be left with roughly 200 people for staff/administrative/prevention/support positions.

          Just a suggestion to whoever the next chief is.

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          • #20
            Hey TowerPower I heard the county is cutting the 4th shift. Instead of 24/72 it will be 24/48. Is it true??

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            • #21
              After reading all of the comments in this forum I felt the need to jump in. I have first hand knowledge of the budget process and have seen it at work. And let me tell you, it is a tough job trying to come up with a budget when the people charged with giving you the budget information you need keep giving you a different set of numbers each meeting you go to. They couldn't even give final numbers from last year's budget. These people I talk about are the county budget people who work for the County Exec.
              Yes the buck stops with the Chief and he's the one who is going to have to take the heat but let's be fair to him because he had the same problem doing his budget. I personally think that the volunteers are losing one of the best friends they had in a long time with the Chief's retirement and it scares me to think of what might be coming.
              I would like to correct a statement in one of the replies about the volunteers losing money every year. The volunteer budget for the next fiscal year is 6% more than this year's budget.
              The biggest thing that killed the budget on the volunteer side was fuel, the County bean counters severely under estimated the fuel costs. And yes the overtime on the career side. I don’t know about anyone else, but were I work, if you put in a leave slip and there is no one to cover for you, your leave slip is denied. Not true in PG. But that is a different story. When management is allowed to belong to the same union as the rank and file you are not going to have very good management. And in my opinion, this is one of the biggest problems in PG.
              Until PG gets some politicians that don’t worry more about having the backing of a union instead of what's in the best interest of the tax paying citizen you are going to have messes like this. If they were really interested in saving money, (approximately $5,000,000.00) they would change the work schedule from 24/72, which is nothing but a part time job with full time benefits to 24/48. This would give them an entire shift to re-assign where necessary and cut out all the overtime. But this is only my opinion. Keep the faith and stay safe.

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              • #22
                Why is it fair to make a firefighter work 56 hours a week, away from his family, in harm's way, without paying him overtime. I have no problem with the county's 42h week, and I have no problem with the county approving leave that has been earned and scheduled.

                There is no doubt that the county fd could improve its management though.

                [This message has been edited by SBrooks (edited 04-15-2001).]

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                • #23
                  i can not believe the budgets you guys say are to small, we cover close to 20 sq. miles with a mini pumper that's a 1972 model, and a 4th hand 1970ish pumper/tanker. we run 40+ calls a year on 8,000 dollars. so remember it can always be worse.

                  FF/EMT
                  5 years service
                  just my thoughts

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                  • #24
                    I don't know what to think about all this. As for 40+ calls a year on $8,000. Try running about 250,000 calls on $8,000. I don't think you could do it. That is why the budget is so large for PGFD. Just something to think about.

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                    • #25
                      CPR

                      I think the point Jason is making is divide the budget by the calls. If the PGFD budget is 50 million (i bet its quite a bit more - no one has posted it that I saw) and is running 111,000 calls (number posted earlier) it comes to $450 a call. Jasons dept is running calls at closer to $200 a call. My small vollie dept is around $120.00 a call. My career dept is around $1100 a call.

                      Now that those numbers are thrown out there I will be the first to say that they dont mean anything. Each area will decide the expense that they can and want to bear for the needs they face.

                      It just seems that the depts that are very busy don't have time to be aggravated by the "little things" and the small depts who have no money or equipment don't have the luxury of being bothered by the "little things".

                      Be safe
                      Chris

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                      • #26
                        Jam,

                        Just a short reply to your comments on my earlier post about the budget getting cut every year.... did you get 100% of what you asked for this year??? I know we haven't in the past.

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                        • #27
                          WAG THE DOG !!! WAG THE DOG !!! WAG THE DOG !!!, thats all I'll say on this matter!! P.S. Why does Mr. Chrisman have authority over the Fire Commission on any matter involving the Volunteer budget. Has the Fire Commission lost it's authority given by the charter ????? Anyone have an answer ?????

                          Short explanation, all expenditure requests usually go from the station to the Fire Commission for approval, Now all requests must go thru (over the heads of) the Volunteer Fire Commission and be approved by Mr. Chrisman the Volunteer Liason.

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                          • #28
                            FYI ... Tower 33 in PG County is back in service ... so apparently the County is doing some repairs. Who Knows? Stay Safe.

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                            • #29
                              believe me, that wasnt the county paying for or doing those repairs. if they were, the tower would either never have come back or come back with the tower mounted on the bottom of the rig. 33 is smart enough with their money to be able to maintain their apparatus effectively. good for them, too bad other companies didnt take the same road

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by PA Volunteer:
                                FYI ... Tower 33 in PG County is back in service ... so apparently the County is doing some repairs. Who Knows? Stay Safe.
                                AMEN to that !!! WELCOME HOME TOWER 33 ! Glad to see PGFD has a valuable piece back in operation

                                ------------------
                                STRATFORD FIRE CO. # 1 NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN'S CONVENTION OVER-ALL CHAMPIONS 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000 !!

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