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  • Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    So, how does this work in a community with a small community college having limited enrollment in the fire science curriculum, and which is putting it's paramedic program on hold due to falling enrollment?
    I would need more information to give you an opinion. If you will give me the name of the college, I will compare it with other community colleges in my database and suggest how it might sustain its programs.

    One trend that I am seeing is community colleges setting up resident firefighter programs for their students in regions with small fire departments. The departments agree to provide free living space for students, who get practical experience while attending college. Free living quarters can cut college expenses by nearly one half. The departments do not have the personnel to train and certify firefighters, but the colleges do.

    I see that the City of Auburn recently enjoyed a reduction in their ISO rating. Not once in any of the stories is there mention of their absolute reliance on students to achieve that.
    That is because the students are full-time firefighters. The ISO does not care what the firefighters do in their spare time. They can mow grass (which many career firefighters in my area do) or attend college.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
      That is because the students are full-time firefighters. The ISO does not care what the firefighters do in their spare time. They can mow grass (which many career firefighters in my area do) or attend college.
      The city of Auburn also notes that their average turnover for firefighters is three years...

      The city of Watertown might turn over a few firefighters per year, and then due to retirements, with total career staffing of about 80.

      I believe Jefferson Community College has less than 20 fire science students per year, and most of them reside at home. Few, if any, live in the recently built dorms. I don't believe the one volunteer station that has bunk-in facilities has any current bunk-ins.

      I don't believe Syracuse has any bunk-ins at all. Any of the bunk-ins are at volunteer or combination stations.

      Career firefighting opportunities in this area are few.

      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
        Actually, a lot of people agree with it, and more fire department are adopting it.
        And a lot of others disagree with it.

        I'd rather have firefighters with experience. The more the better.

        You may not always get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get."
        They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

        I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
          And a lot of others disagree with it.

          I'd rather have firefighters with experience. The more the better.

          You may not always get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get."
          Damn SC, we agree again. Next thing you know old PaddyC will be calling for privatization, no benefits, no pensions, and damn little pay. Oh wait a minute... that IS his temporary firefighter plan, with the addition of the dismantling of the civil service system to automatically hire these students after they graduate.

          Some retired fire chiefs are not friends of the fire service in the least. But they for damn sure are self promoters.
          Crazy, but that's how it goes
          Millions of people living as foes
          Maybe it's not too late
          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

          Comment


          • Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

            Damn SC, we agree again. Next thing you know old PaddyC will be calling for privatization, no benefits, no pensions, and damn little pay. Oh wait a minute... that IS his temporary firefighter plan, with the addition of the dismantling of the civil service system to automatically hire these students after they graduate.

            Some retired fire chiefs are not friends of the fire service in the least. But they for damn sure are self promoters.
            Stop making stuff up. Quote where I said "dismantle the civil service system." As other readers can plainly see, military-style staffing improves the ability of cities to pay their career firefighters competitive wages, benefits and good pensions.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by paddyc View Post

              Stop making stuff up. Quote where I said "dismantle the civil service system." As other readers can plainly see, military-style staffing improves the ability of cities to pay their career firefighters competitive wages, benefits and good pensions.
              You clearly called for a modification of the civil service system to allow whatever process they went through to become a temporary firefighter to allow them direct access to being hired as a career firefighter.

              If you hurry you can delete any evidence of that too.
              Crazy, but that's how it goes
              Millions of people living as foes
              Maybe it's not too late
              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

              Comment


              • "The Civil Service rules can be changed. The individuals would have already gone through the same application process when they were selected, including testing, interviews, psych, medical evals and physical ability tests." It does not say that getting hired is automatic.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
                  "The Civil Service rules can be changed. The individuals would have already gone through the same application process when they were selected, including testing, interviews, psych, medical evals and physical ability tests." It does not say that getting hired is automatic.
                  That has been your implication.
                  Crazy, but that's how it goes
                  Millions of people living as foes
                  Maybe it's not too late
                  To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

                    That has been your implication.
                    No. Just what you read into it.

                    I sincerely hope that you don't find your department in the situation that is befalling others. I just read of another department today that has already spent its budgeted overtime funds, and the city does not have the money to transfer into the fire department account. We know what is coming, station brownouts and possibly layoffs. I hope that does not happen to your department, but it is happening. To me, military-style staffing is a much better alternative.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
                      I just read of another department today that has already spent its budgeted overtime funds, and the city does not have the money to transfer into the fire department account. We know what is coming, station brownouts and possibly layoffs. I hope that does not happen to your department, but it is happening.
                      OT is an issue with a career department here. Of course, if the city would deign to fill a couple of empty slots in the fire department, that OT would drop significantly. Instead, they're going after the minimal manning clause in the firefighter's contract, which would result in understaffing if a firefighter was out sick, etc.

                      Curiously, the city engaged ICMA to review the fire department, and ICMA said the status quo was just fine, much to the chagrin of the city leaders at the time. Half the city council got replaced in the last election, and the hired-gun city manager got canned shortly thereafter. I suspect the issues will be settled much sooner now.

                      Originally posted by paddyc View Post
                      To me, military-style staffing is a much better alternative.
                      So how does this military-style staffing work if there's no source of students?

                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                        OT is an issue with a career department here. Of course, if the city would deign to fill a couple of empty slots in the fire department, that OT would drop significantly. Instead, they're going after the minimal manning clause in the firefighter's contract, which would result in understaffing if a firefighter was out sick, etc.
                        I see this a lot, and the big gorilla in the room is usually pension burdens. Leaving slots open reduces future pension debt, but paying OT to meet minimum manning increases the operating budget. I fully support minimum manning clauses in firefighter contracts. I also understand the need to rein in increasing pension burdens.

                        We firefighters enjoy early retirement ages, which is necessary for the type of work we do. But we are living longer than predicted in days past, so pension funds are paying out more. My great uncle Mike lived one year after he retired in 1930. My Dad died at age 52 and never drew a retirement check. But things are changing. My brother-in-law Hank retired at 50 and lived until he was 77. I retired at 55 and am going strong at 76.

                        The response from local and state governments has been to reduce pension burdens by reducing future benefits. That is immoral. Fire suppression is manpower intensive and takes its toll on those of us who did the work of two or three at fires because we were under-staffed. We fully deserve early retirement and decent pensions.

                        Curiously, the city engaged ICMA to review the fire department, and ICMA said the status quo was just fine, much to the chagrin of the city leaders at the time. Half the city council got replaced in the last election, and the hired-gun city manager got canned shortly thereafter. I suspect the issues will be settled much sooner now.
                        The ICMA team comes in, uses the ARC/INFO mapping tools to show station locations and run frequency, and bases their recommendation on fire frequency instead of fire consequences. Fewer fires? Cut fire suppression staff. Quite short-sighted in my view.

                        So how does this military-style staffing work if there's no source of students?
                        The majority of career departments have enough college-eligible or college students within reasonable commuting distance. If you enter your city name on city-data.com, the results include the number of colleges in the region, along with the number of their students and travel distance from your city. You can also check with departments that use college student/firefighters to compare their college populations with the number of candidates they get. military-style staffing is not a one-size-fits-all answer, but many fire departments can use variations of the model to augment staffing.


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
                          The majority of career departments have enough college-eligible or college students within reasonable commuting distance. If you enter your city name on city-data.com, the results include the number of colleges in the region, along with the number of their students and travel distance from your city. You can also check with departments that use college student/firefighters to compare their college populations with the number of candidates they get. military-style staffing is not a one-size-fits-all answer, but many fire departments can use variations of the model to augment staffing.
                          The first part is easy - there are no four-year colleges within an hour of here. Only the community college.

                          The second part would be a lot easier if you'd provide that list of fire departments that use college students as a primary resource for manpower.

                          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                            The city of Auburn also notes that their average turnover for firefighters is three years...

                            The city of Watertown might turn over a few firefighters per year, and then due to retirements, with total career staffing of about 80.

                            I believe Jefferson Community College has less than 20 fire science students per year, and most of them reside at home. Few, if any, live in the recently built dorms. I don't believe the one volunteer station that has bunk-in facilities has any current bunk-ins.

                            I don't believe Syracuse has any bunk-ins at all. Any of the bunk-ins are at volunteer or combination stations.

                            Career firefighting opportunities in this area are few.
                            That's why I said earlier that I don't expect that one would be able to just replicate the live-in model that is common in the DC metro area in other locations. 'Living in' at the firehouse goes beyond a simple calculation of 'I would spend this much on housing and now I can save that'. There is a culture of people doing it for decades and often they live at the same firehouse where their dad spent a year or two 20 years ago. The entire system is driven by the fact that there are plenty of well paid career positions in the area. Without the prize of a DC/Baltimore/Fairfax/MontgomeryCo/Federal etc. career to look forward to, the volunteer service in the counties with live-ins would soon run out of motivated young men to jump out of bed at 2am for no pay.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                              The second part would be a lot easier if you'd provide that list of fire departments that use college students as a primary resource for manpower.
                              I believe Moscow,ID has a strong college dorm program. But that's a small city with large university. A number of the students remain as EMT members strictly on the ambulance side of the department. Based on their graduation announcements those students mostly move on to things like nursing school, physical therapy and other healthcare professions.
                              Big University, small city, all volunteer system. I don't think you could just got to any other town with a college and replicate what they have built there.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by paddyc View Post
                                The ICMA team comes in, uses the ARC/INFO mapping tools to show station locations and run frequency, and bases their recommendation on fire frequency instead of fire consequences. Fewer fires? Cut fire suppression staff. Quite short-sighted in my view.
                                Just about the worst idea possible. Fire stations should be placed according to threat. Following this logic we can get rid of the fire houses in just about every major airport. Given the few number (thankfully) of incidents involving aircraft.

                                The ICMA team may make great recommendations. But when things go poorly because of their recommendations they will be nowhere to be found. It will be the idiot chief who proposed those ideas left holding the bag. They usually go away with a nice pension and severance package leaving someone else to clean up the mess.
                                Last edited by scfire86; 05-24-2018, 12:40 PM.
                                They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                                I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                                Comment

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