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mutual aid - how politically motivated is it 'in your woods'?

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  • #16
    Fortunately, all our mutual aid is automatically handled by our E911 center. At different parts of our territory, we know who will be dispatched to the scene depending on who is closest to the call. By the same token, we know when we will be automatically dispatched to help our neighboring depts. We really love this system. It eliminates politics (concerning mutual aid) and speeds response time of mutual aid companies as all depts are dispatched at the same time. It seems crazy to me that any chief or officer would be willing to delay response of mutual aid to play politics. If I was working for someone who puts politics ahead of the life safety of firefighters an potential victims, one of us would have to find someplace else to be.

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    • #17
      I think just about everyone has issues with politics/attitudes, and MA. A couple of weeks ago there was a huge tractor trailer crash out this way and they dispatched our neighboring department to the call. They went, and so did two others that are farther from the accident then we are, but we just figured there was a good reason they got called and we didn't. Then a town over 5 miles further away got on the radio and their Chief told dispatch they were responding...even though they were not called out...they were told by the Fire Marshall to stand by at another station and they came back and said they would just stay at their own station since they were not allowed to participate in the call. The way I look at it is that these officers should be disciplined/fined, something for not doing their jobs. Granted we are volunteer, but conducting yourself like this is not acceptable. We stayed at our station just in case they needed us but we never tried to jump the call or get involved.

      We work very well with our neighboring town and even run MA from 8am - 6pm Monday through Friday to ensure that we have enough personnel to cover calls. Lately we have had issues with their Chief and he is endangering others by not calling us for help, cancelling us before he even gets on scene to know what is going on, etc. Our Chief has explained to him that whether or not he likes us right now should have no bearing on the coverage we provide to the communities we protect. It has gotten a little better since their conversation. The way I see it is that we are all here for the same reason..to help people. So the little fights about nothing have to stop. I would hate to see someone get hurt because this Chief is mad at that Chief, or because this officer won't talk to that department. It is all pretty silly when you think about it.
      Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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      • #18
        toneloc177;
        Nothing is going to happen until something happens!
        Right now; it's just a bunch of ****ed off firefighters bitching about not getting in on a call. Our department complains all of the time. I'll give an example: we are less than a half mile from the interstate. No one in our immediate area can get on safer and faster than we can. Period! But the Dispatchers dispatch according to boundary lines. We all know that! But it is stupid. We measure the call in minutes; not miles. But the fact is that some of the "chiefs" in our area aren't sharp enough or compassionate enough to request us, even though we can get there much faster. And don't even get me started on the winter months. Does it sound like boundaries are the problem? Because I suggested in a meeting that, where the interstate was concerned, to re-write the boundaries. No tax money was at stake, so are boundaries or taxes the issues? No, it is egos disguised as politics. I have sat down with these people and tried to hammer out an automatic aid agreement. We have one south, but for some reason, north is opposed to it. I had a chief pull out a map dated 1957 and said "There, it shows the interstate in our district". What Mr. Dumass failed to realize is that the interstate wasn't built until 1970 AND it was a no man's land until 1999! I went so far as to offer everyone at the meeting a waiver on OOD fees. Nope! So I like to believe that I am not the problem. They sat there and told me that they were just as concerned for the victims as we are, but it's their call. They must think that I have sh*t between my ears. I don't dispute that it's their call. It is also their decision to MA it to us; you know, we'll start and they can finish. But they won't do that either. Anyway, we WILL NOT jump calls; we will only respond if we are duly dispatched. Of course, that is not to say that some of my guys wouldn't go out to the scene "incognito" as a Good Samaritan and help, if you know what I mean. Wink-wink. They just happened to be in the neighborhood. I swear, some of them are better equipped than some rescue rigs that I've seen! But still, it's sad and someday, when the grieving family of a loved one finds out that we were closer in terms of response time and didn't respond, the papers between lawyers will start flying and then my egotistical counter-parts will be defending a countersuit-by us. Technically, we will be subrogating the claim. But you get the picture.
        No one from the general public is going to give a good goddam about politics if they suffer a catastrophe. That position will never be defensible, so unless Chief Ego is prepared to lie through his teeth, he'd better be prepared to write a number followed by six zeroes on a check to the victim's family. And for those of you contemplating change, remember that you can't change the chief unless the Board of Trustees approves it. They won't let you? Guess what; it only takes a petition to get the question on the ballot to change them! Does that sound like alot of work? Then apparently you think it's easy working for a management team that doesn't support its employees and exposes them unnecessarily to not only the hazardous risks of firefighting, but the legal liabilities of their poor decision-making.
        Fix what needs fixing. Otherwise, quitcherbitchin!
        Stay safe.
        Visit www.iacoj.com
        Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
        RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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