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  • Pennsylvania Fire funding

    Hey Pennsylvania Firefighters,

    As you know Governor Ridge has eliminated much of the grant money that is earmarked for Pennsylvania's fire departments. The governer apparently felt it more important to give money to stadiums in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and give thousnads of dollars to a FOR PROFIT regatta here in Pittsburgh.

    I think it is high time that we remind the government of this commonwealth that funding its fire departments means saving taxpayer money and lives. Pennsylvania has more departments than any other state in the union, and its time for the members of the volunteer & paid, Rescue, EMS and Fire departments get the money we rightfully deserve.

    It is time for us to write to our state Representitives and Senators and even the Governor himself and tell them if they want to stay in there offices, they need to fund emergency services, and if they dont fund emergency services, ask who's gonna be there when they are sick, injured or their house is on fire.

    You can find the contact numbers and e-mail addresses for your representitives @

    web page

    Find your rep. and write to them today.
    Shawn MacIntyre EMT
    Pittsburgh EMS EMT-2
    Fraternal Assoc. of Prof. Paramedics

  • #2
    PghEMTmac:

    We have a great relationship with our rep., he grew up across the street from our station, and was always interested in our well being, and has always helped us when he could. We too, pushed him to push Gov. Ridge when we heard about the no go on this years grant...and he and other reps and sen. pushed and pushed, but apparently gov. ridge could care less....he figures we got money last year, so that's enough. Keep your fingers crossed for next year though, there's talk about another one.
    Neptune 33

    Comment


    • #3
      next year is not enough, departments are going to go under this year beacuse the state money was not available.
      Look at Avonmore Ambulance. if state money was there, they wouldnt be facing closing there doors leaving 2 boroughs w/o an ambulance.
      Shawn MacIntyre EMT
      Pittsburgh EMS EMT-2
      Fraternal Assoc. of Prof. Paramedics

      Comment


      • #4
        Just a note...it wasn't the Governor. It's not an election year, and there were other issues. Keep up the political pressure on the legislators. Politics are tough, and there is a lot of give and take going on on this type of funding, and this year, we lost.
        Glenn Usdin, Fire Chief
        Lancaster Township FD, PA

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome to this board Glenn! I see you've already been rated....
          Neptune 33

          Comment


          • #6
            Kind of show's you where the priorities of the people of this state are as far as fire safety. The loss of the fire grants, the annual underfunding of the 2% loan program. No uniform state wide building code for fire safety. Plus to top it all off, the newest set of rules governing fire training. I went to a training burn in April, it actually cost the department $500 just to put the class on due to the new fee schedule. How many times a year could your department afford this? It's hard enough to get memebers to train, let alone now making it costly on top of everything. Just my two cents. God bless and stay safe.
            Randall E. Guntrum FF/EMT
            If lights, sirens, and air horns do not attract the attention of a driver, he or she is too drunk to be assisted by a paint scheme.

            Comment


            • #7
              reminds me of a quote I saw on here: "We've been doing so much with so little, soon we can do everything with nothing."
              I may have butchered that a little, but you get the gist.
              It is better to try and fail, then quit and succeed.

              Comment


              • #8
                It seems pretty ridiculous to keep sitting back and allow the politicians and others continue showing such a lack of respect for the services that we provide. They are the first to cut funding and the first to yell the loudest when the help is not there in what they feel is a timely manor. They only remember us when they need us. It is time to let them know in a very strong showing just what the PA fire service does for the state.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Its time for a march on harrisburg, trucks are falling apart, stations are falling down, and some companies bunker gear is older than me ( that's really not a joke, and I turn 30 this year).

                  Harrisburg thinks that we bring in a ton of money on bingo, monte carlo night and dept. festivals. However, they never seem to see what we have to pay out for insurance, repairs, training and equipment. They also don't seem to realize that guidelines from the state and federal governments make the money we pay out increase constantly.

                  Rep. Sean Logan (Monroeville) sent out the cry for fiefighters to go to harrisburg. and i think its high time we went.
                  Shawn MacIntyre EMT
                  Pittsburgh EMS EMT-2
                  Fraternal Assoc. of Prof. Paramedics

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK then how do we get something started? Petition? March? Pay off some Politician??

                    But on a serious note... We do need to get together as a fire service, no paid or just volly's but as a whole and get some things changed in PA. Just look at the attempts for the limited federal $. I think about every company who knew how to pick up a pen applied. Let me tell you there are some hurt'n companies out there....some are just requesting simple stuff as hose or somthing better than a pick-up truck with a 55 gallon drum as a first attack engine. I spoke with a fire Chief who was an evaluator and he amazed by how poorly funded fire companies are not just in this state but across the country. I hope something besides a discussion can come of this.

                    [ 07-13-2001: Message edited by: jizumper-5 ]
                    Keep Safe!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a little update for you all. the governor can cut VFD funding by $30 Million, but now he wants you all to buy software that he'll probably get a kickback for.


                      N E W S R E L E A S E COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
                      Office of State Fire Commissioner
                      Commonwealth News Bureau
                      Room 308, Main Capitol
                      Harrisburg, PA 17120

                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Marko Bourne, PEMA
                      (717) 651-2139

                      RIDGE ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE INCIDENT-REPORTING SOFTWARE
                      TO EVERY FIRE DEPARTMENT IN THE COMMONWEALTH
                      Will give fire departments and local emergency-management agencies ability
                      to track fire incidents for first time

                      HARRISBURG (July 11) ?- Highlighting Gov. Tom Ridge's ongoing commitment
                      to


                      Pennsylvania's fire-services community,


                      Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker today announced that the Office of the State Fire
                      Commissioner (OSFC) will purchase more than 2,400 software licenses and
                      maintenance agreements to enable every fire department statewide to track
                      and report exposure to infectious diseases -? enhancing their ability to
                      track fires and emergencies.
                      The Lieutenant Governor said that, by using $700,000 from a Hepatitis
                      C education and prevention line item in the 2000-01 state budget, the new
                      initiative will provide fire departments with the ability to track first
                      responders' exposures to infectious diseases like Hepatitis C.
                      "We have been working for several years to develop a statewide
                      fire-incident reporting system," said Lt. Gov. Schweiker, who chairs the
                      Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council. "Our fire and emergency
                      responders need this information not only for injury-prevention,
                      fire-prevention and infectious-disease prevention programs, but also to
                      improve their understanding of how to better provide these critical but
                      costly
                      services that are so essential to our communities' safety.


                      "The long awaited Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System
                      (PennFIRS) will be able to move forward quickly thanks to this funding."
                      "The Hepatitis C education and awareness program we have been developing
                      will benefit significantly from this project. After consulting with the
                      legislative sponsors of the budget line item and the Department of Health,
                      this is a wonderful benefit for emergency providers to use this program
                      as
                      a way to track potential exposures to infectious diseases like Hep. C. "By
                      providing this tracking mechanism, we are helping firefighters identify
                      possible exposures to assist them in early diagnosis and treatment, as well
                      as documenting job-related exposures for insurance needs."For the past five
                      years, the PennFIRS Task Force has been assisting the OSFC with development
                      of this statewide fire-information reporting system. In 1997 the Task
                      Force conducted a survey of the state's fire departments and found
                      extensive support for a statewide reporting system. Today, that support
                      continues. With the help of departments from across the state, the Task
                      Force conducted a number of pilot studies, ranging from a paper version
                      of
                      the new National Fire Incident Reporting (NFIRS) software to using
                      state-of-the-art computer software based on the old NFIRS (4.1) protocols
                      and participating in beta testing of the new NFIRS software. "From the very
                      beginning, the OSFC and the PennFIRS Task Force agreed that, in order to
                      provide the kind of electronic data collection that we needed, we would
                      have to wait for the release of the New NFIRS 5.0 software that was under
                      development by the U.S. Fire Administration," said State Fire Commissioner
                      Edward Mann. "The very complicated nature of that software and the amount
                      of volunteer time that went into its development extended development time
                      into this year.

                      "By harnessing the power and accessibility features of Gov. Ridge's
                      PA
                      PowerPort and e-Government initiatives, we will develop a digital network
                      that quickly and easily moves data and provides access to the information
                      everyone needs to provide better, safer service. We look forward to
                      working with county and regional organizations and agencies to establish
                      data-collection networks and centers to facilitate the flow of
                      information." The State Fire Commissioner's office will be meeting with
                      these collection groups to discuss networking and training needs and
                      opportunities. As this year progresses, the OFSC will begin connecting
                      interested networking/collection centers to the statewide database.
                      Shawn MacIntyre EMT
                      Pittsburgh EMS EMT-2
                      Fraternal Assoc. of Prof. Paramedics

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would really like to ask Mr. Ridge why the assistance to the PA fire and EMS service was cut out in favor of the regatta. The City of Pittsburgh has enough resources to privately fund this event. In fact this is an event that really sould not be put on by the taxpayers at all, enough of that though. I live approximately 20 miles to the north and west of Avonmore and I can tell you the area as a whole is depressed up here. There are some fire companies and EMS outfits up here that don't know how they are going to keeps the doors open until next year. The volunteer service is in real trouble. I just find it really ironic that a service whose entire mission is to respond to help those in need gets the cold shoulder when it finds it self in need. Write your congressmen, senators, The Governor, and The President. This is a big problem with huge consequences and it needs help.

                        [ 07-14-2001: Message edited by: fc80chief ]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Its time to quit making Gov. Ridge the scapegoat of this years grant cuts and put the blame on who is responsible. The Gov. had originally placed the fire grant in this years budget, which by the way passed the House of Representatives. The measure was cut by THE SENATE of Pennsylvania before the vote was brought back to the house. PA has experienced 2 years of unmatched (at least for PA) funding for volunteer fire departments. Can you tell me of another time when our great state made this committment? Call your local senator and ask him if you dont believe me. As a political committee member and a candidate, I keep track of all of our states fire funding, and although it is pitiful when you compare it to the $6,000,000,000 we save the state each year, it is unfair to blame Gov. Ridge. March on Harrisburg? Let me know when.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have to agree somewhat that the responsibility for the cut does not totally fall on Mr. Ridge's shoulders, but at the same time he is the man that pulls the strings. He ultimately decides the fate of issues such as this. Like I said in an earlier post, it is time (way past time) to start making some noise with the politicians and the public in general. People do not realize the money that the Fire Service of PA saves them. When I say make some noise, this should not be taken as an attack on the politicians, etc., but rather an educational venture. We really need to take some time and blow our own horns as to what we do and educate people on what we need from them to provide the vital service that we do. At the same time we should also realize we need to keep ourselves accountable for how we spend the money. We have to keep our image in check. It seems that we in the fire service sometimes spend too much time sitting back and complaining about things (me included) rather than take action. We need to come up with a plan for a solution and start to positively promote ourselves to our politicians and communities. It seems like at times all we get is negative press... Firefighter sets fire...(Just one stupid person like this ruins our image-Ironically as I type this there is a show on MSNBC about FF who started fires). I, like others are am willing to do this, but this has to be a total team effort - not just the effort of a few.

                            [ 07-22-2001: Message edited by: PeskyFF ]

                            [ 07-22-2001: Message edited by: PeskyFF ]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am all for something to get done to get us some more funding. Right now would be the worst time to do a march. The goverment is on vacation for July and Aug. I have always noticed that the Fire/EMS service always gets the short end of the funding bag. And it is also sad that some companies have gear that is 30 years old as front line. I think that some small compaines in the most depressed parts of the state should get Uncle Tom to stop by for a visit to show him was we face. If he sees it for himself, then he might just understand out point of view, at least to start. This is just my own views on this subject.

                              Kyle
                              Kyle
                              www.chalfontfireco.com

                              Comment

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