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Did deficient crew size affect your actions?

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  • #16
    I mostly worked on PMEs with four person crews. So......no.
    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


    • #17
      I don't think you will find what you are looking for, for the simple reason that the fires still go out. 6 man crew is cut to 5, fire still goes out. 5 man crew is cut to 4, fire still goes out. 4 man crew is cut to 3, fire still goes out. 3 man crew is cut to 2 (yes, it happens, and there are some career departments that run with 2 on their engine or rescue), the fires still go out. Are they nearly as efficient? are they accomplishing all their tasks? absolutely not. are the firefighters working harder to do more with less? absolutely.

      Do I advocate cutting staff? hell no, but I also know my engine company is 2 FFs and an officer, and when we are first due to a fire, the fire still goes out. And I know FDNY, arguably one of the best staffed departments (5 on the engines, 6 on the truck and rescues if I remember correctly), still burns structures to the ground, and experiences massive multi alarm fires.

      I would look at how many tasks the first due engine company is supposed to accomplish, and ask the public how it gets done with only 3 guys.
      If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

      FF/EMT/DBP

      Comment


      • #18
        It is a very small percentage of fires that we "burn to the ground". For the most part our fires get much smaller within about a minute of arriving. A one room fire stays one room and a two room fire stays two rooms, etc.They are quickly extinguished. We have a lot of rigs, a lot of people and a lot of good hydrants.

        Many departments appear to arrive on scene and begin operating but significant time passes before water is put on the fire, and often it is a surround and drown deal because they are unable to mount an aggressive interior attack.

        That is the difference that staffing combined with fast response times makes. And of course a good water supply.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

          The first question they will ask is how much will their taxes go up.
          The military staffing model allows fire departments to provide more resources for less money.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by paddyc View Post
            The military staffing model allows fire departments to provide more resources for less money.
            Which means what exactly? If you have career firefighters you still have pensions, health care, and more in addition to salary. Those costs are established by contract.
            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


            • #21
              Originally posted by drparasite View Post
              I would look at how many tasks the first due engine company is supposed to accomplish, and ask the public how it gets done with only 3 guys.
              That is exactly what NFPA 1710 does, and the NIST test results back up the conclusions.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                If you have career firefighters you still have pensions, health care, and more in addition to salary.
                On average, fire departments using the military staffing model can hire two college student/firefighters for the cost of one career firefighter. That lowers salary costs and pension burdens.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Let me type this slower so maybe you will understand my question. DEFINE THE MILITARY MODEL.

                  If you are talking about a college intern model it is already being done in many places. If your intention is to replace the hiring of career staff with these student firefighters that raises contractual and Union issues. It sounds like your plan is basically to create a lower class of firefighter that is paid less with less benefits but expected to do the same job. Yeah, I don't see that causing any problems.
                  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


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                    DEFINE THE MILITARY MODEL.
                    The US Army and Marines staff their infantry squads with two types of personnel. They fill leadership and technical slots with career soldiers and Marines. They fill the remaining slots with individuals who sign up for 4 years. The most popular incentive for signing up is a free college education. When those individuals finish their enlistments, about one half decide to become career soldiers or Marines, and the rest return to civilian life.

                    Fire departments that use military-style staffing fill engine and ladder truck positions in a similar way. Career firefighters fill the leadership and technical slots. The other slots are filled by individuals who sign up to work full-time in return for free college educations at area colleges in their off-duty time. Similar to the military, about half of them decide to become career firefighters when they finish school.

                    I know of some union departments that use the model, so there are ways to do so. The plus for the career firefighters is adequate staffing, a big firefighter safety issue.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by paddyc View Post

                      The US Army and Marines staff their infantry squads with two types of personnel. They fill leadership and technical slots with career soldiers and Marines. They fill the remaining slots with individuals who sign up for 4 years. The most popular incentive for signing up is a free college education. When those individuals finish their enlistments, about one half decide to become career soldiers or Marines, and the rest return to civilian life.

                      Fire departments that use military-style staffing fill engine and ladder truck positions in a similar way. Career firefighters fill the leadership and technical slots. The other slots are filled by individuals who sign up to work full-time in return for free college educations at area colleges in their off-duty time. Similar to the military, about half of them decide to become career firefighters when they finish school.

                      I know of some union departments that use the model, so there are ways to do so. The plus for the career firefighters is adequate staffing, a big firefighter safety issue.
                      The department I work for has intern college students. They get a stipend, tuition reimbursement, and a place to live in exchange for running shifts. They are not here to replace career firefighters but to supplement staffing while getting an education. That is entirely different than your idea of not hiring career staff but hiring a continual revolving door of essentially part-timers.

                      I can't help but look at this entire topic with a jaundiced eye. Especially when cost is your motivator not adding full time career staffing.
                      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


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

                        The department I work for has intern college students. They get a stipend, tuition reimbursement, and a place to live in exchange for running shifts. They are not here to replace career firefighters but to supplement staffing while getting an education. That is entirely different than your idea of not hiring career staff but hiring a continual revolving door of essentially part-timers.

                        I can't help but look at this entire topic with a jaundiced eye. Especially when cost is your motivator not adding full time career staffing.
                        Just so I understand, you seem to imply that your engine and ladder companies are fully staffed with career firefighters (i. e., four per unit), and that the firefighter interns are additional. Is this correct?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Look up Watertown, NY and see what you can find about the 4 year battle the firefighters have had with the city. The core of the dispute? Minimum manning. The current contract calls for the NFPA 1710 fifteen firefighters. The city is fighting that. The city's biggest beef is the overtime cost if a firefighter calls in sick, has an appointment, etc. Of course, the city won't hire people so they can have more than 15 on a shift, which would greatly cut OT. The city also recently balked at a SAFER grant application.

                          Two of the members of the city council have been replaced by the voters, and the city manager hired to try and win this for the city has been let go. So maybe it'll get settled. Oh, and the city has spent well into six figures in legal fees. As well as losing a court challenge or two...

                          At no point in the discussions has the ramifications of showing up at a fire short-staffed been mentioned, to my knowledge. It's been all about the money.
                          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                            Look up Watertown, NY and see what you can find about the 4 year battle the firefighters have had with the city. The core of the dispute? Minimum manning. The current contract calls for the NFPA 1710 fifteen firefighters. The city is fighting that. The city's biggest beef is the overtime cost if a firefighter calls in sick, has an appointment, etc. Of course, the city won't hire people so they can have more than 15 on a shift, which would greatly cut OT. The city also recently balked at a SAFER grant application.

                            Two of the members of the city council have been replaced by the voters, and the city manager hired to try and win this for the city has been let go. So maybe it'll get settled. Oh, and the city has spent well into six figures in legal fees. As well as losing a court challenge or two...

                            At no point in the discussions has the ramifications of showing up at a fire short-staffed been mentioned, to my knowledge. It's been all about the money.
                            So what's your point? If I read you right you would replace full time career firefighters with college student part-timers causing a revolving door where none of them ever reached full potential or veteran status because they would be gone before they got there. So you essentially always have the veterans training people they know won't be there in a year or 2 or 3...Great plan.

                            No sorry, call me a Union thug if you wish but any plan to replace or not hire full time staff and replace them with part-timers or students will never get my vote. IF the department is fully staffed and you augment them with those college students then I am okay with it.

                            Are you a firefighter? Career, volly, student? Or a politician, or, even worse in my opinion, a consultant?
                            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


                            • #29
                              Watertown is just one of hundreds, perhaps thousands of fire departments where adequate staffing is an issue. My goal is to inform the public about the consequences of deficient staffing.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                                Are you a firefighter? Career, volly, student? Or a politician, or, even worse in my opinion, a consultant?
                                First, my bona fides. I am a retired career fire chief who started out as a tailboard firefighter in the 1970's. I know what it is like to answer fire calls with too few firefighters. We had to do the work of two or three to make stops. When I did a staffing and deployment study of my department in 1991, I coined the terms "critical fireground task" and "effective response force." Around that time, the IAFC had formed a committee to study fire department certification, and the committee copied my 1991 study verbatim for its chapter on deployment. If you check, you will see that I one of the document's three signatories. That document led to the formation of the NFPA Technical Committee that created NFPA 1710 and 1720.

                                I served as VP of my IAFF local and remain a union supporter. My goal is to help fire departments find ways to keep enough firefighters on duty to improve firefighter safety. Using firefighter interns to augment career crews is one way to do that.

                                Comment

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