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Automatic aid agreements-Perpetuating the Bureaucracy

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  • #91
    Where in WA code is the requirement that fire districts have to merge or form a regional fire service authority if they intend to cooperate on a routine basis ?

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post

      An all for one firefighter response is the same regardless of your system of unfairness or my system of fairness based on following State Law, that has all taxpayers paying the same, after all affected Taxpayers have voted for a detailed merger plan and merges fire admins as well as firefighters.

      If you don't get that there is not much I can do.
      So, I presume you've taken the lead to put this issue before the voters? This is clearly a major problem in your area, and I'm sure the taxpayers will see you as a hero for making things right. How many town/village/city council/board meetings have you attended so far?

      I'm also guessing you live in one of the areas with higher taxes.

      Everyone will be all for it, except for the ones whose taxes will be going up. I'm betting they'll vote against it. And then it won't happen.

      It would work very much the same here. But at this point no one has seen the need to put anything before the voters.

      Heck, we're trying to replace a 60 year old cinder block fire station with a leaky roof, cracked floors, minimal insulation, a bathroom some people won't use, and cracks in the walls you can see daylight through - but it'll be a while before it happens because folks are very sensitive to the tax rate...
      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by tree68 View Post

        So, I presume you've taken the lead to put this issue before the voters? This is clearly a major problem in your area, and I'm sure the taxpayers will see you as a hero for making things right. How many town/village/city council/board meetings have you attended so far?

        I'm also guessing you live in one of the areas with higher taxes.

        Everyone will be all for it, except for the ones whose taxes will be going up. I'm betting they'll vote against it. And then it won't happen.

        It would work very much the same here. But at this point no one has seen the need to put anything before the voters.

        Heck, we're trying to replace a 60 year old cinder block fire station with a leaky roof, cracked floors, minimal insulation, a bathroom some people won't use, and cracks in the walls you can see daylight through - but it'll be a while before it happens because folks are very sensitive to the tax rate...
        I have taken the lead to let affected taxpayers know and I do this for the larger good for all.

        None of the following is true.

        Where I live now is not even involved in auto aid.

        In Prosser WA area regional fire authority, where I took the lead also, Prosser City Taxpayers paid less than county taxpayers for the same all for one fire response, joining of departments with auto aid instead of following State Law. Remember State law that requires a detailed plan with all taxpayers paying the same taxes and voter approved. The plan for joining together was voter approved. The City Taxpayers increased their property tax a bit and County Taxpayers saw their taxes go down a bit. Basically they met in the middle of their high low taxes from before. Not all for it huh? Wrong! What they weren't for was two communities getting fire service together with one group paying less and the other paying more for same fire service. Something you seem good with.

        Your folks aren't sensitive to tax rate to replace a dump of a fire station. your elected officials don't give a crap about effective fire service and maybe neither do those you serve. That must give you a good feeling as a first responder, no community support. Thank God I don't know what that is like.

        If you have joined forces with other fire depts with auto aid instead of following State Law for FD merger, annexation, create new FD or Regional Fire Authority; You absolutely have a need to go to voters that is being ignored to the detriment of taxpayers.

        Auto-aid---------> Needs interlocal agreement to join FD fire response

        Lawful merger, annex, create new, regional fire authority------> Detailed Plan, Vote of the people, all taxpayers pay same taxes for same fire service. No redundant fire admin costs with only one fire administration.

        I don't see how you can even side with auto aid, at all.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Too_Old View Post
          Where in WA code is the requirement that fire districts have to merge or form a regional fire service authority if they intend to cooperate on a routine basis ?
          In Washington State

          Auto aid uses the interlocal cooperation act to simply join fire forces by agreement or so they say. Nothing in State Law directly addresses auto-aid. It is Fire Admins pushing the envelope with local agreements to end run the State Law sanctioned and defined processes for really joining fire rescue services. In Washington State I think auto aid would lose in court because the State does specifically lay out how FD's come together.

          Washington RCW's:

          http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=52

          And I was told by one Chief that they get their interlocal agreement authority to join FD's by auto aid under burn permit authority in FD RCW. Now that's funny!!
          Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-08-2018, 09:36 AM.

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

            BRILLIANT POST and 100% correct.
            Not even close.

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by JSJJ388 View Post

              Your system does not improve the response. It's the same response, minus the sense of pride that small communities have in their departments. Yes, different areas pay different rates, based on the local risks. Should the town next to us pay the same rate as we do, even though they have a more dense population and higher for risk? No, of course not. Your system says they should...


              Auto mutual aide follows all state laws here.

              I cant help that your system is so illogical no sane person says that it will work 100% of the time. Your fault, not mine.
              It's not my system, it's State Law.

              However you join the actual fire response together between two or more fire agencies, lawfully or not, the response will be the same. I'm surprised you don't get that. The Changes with following State Law (my system) instead of auto aid is that redundant fire admins are eliminated and the money saved can hire more firefighters. Also by following State law all taxpayers get to vote on the detailed merger plan that has all taxpayers paying the same in taxes for the new all for one fire response.

              Auto aid could be in your State Law, it's not in mine. Just show me your state law allowing auto aid.

              My system is so.......

              ROFLMAO

              My system is following State Law.

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post

                In Washington State

                Auto aid uses the interlocal cooperation act to simply join fire forces by agreement or so they say. Nothing in State Law directly addresses auto-aid. It is Fire Admins pushing the envelope with local agreements to end run the State Law sanctioned and defined processes for really joining fire rescue services. In Washington State I think auto aid would lose in court because the State does specifically lay out how FD's come together.

                Washington RCW's:

                http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=52

                And I was told by one Chief that they get their interlocal agreement authority to join FD's by auto aid under burn permit authority in FD RCW. Now that's funny!!
                In other words there is no such mandate.

                I just quote from the law you pointed me to:


                (1) A fire protection district may merge with another fire protection district located within a reasonable proximity, on such terms and conditions as they agree upon, in the manner provided in this title.


                'May' indicate the possibility of something being done. Not a mandate.

                Is there any legal history in WA courts where auto-aid done via interlocal agreement was found to be in violation of state law ?

                You keep insinuating that there is something unlawful or improper about auto-aid. There is not.

                Your issue is a local tax gripe.

                Comment


                • #98
                  If you like this thread, you're gonna love this thread:

                  https://forums.firehouse.com/forum/f...-with-ems-fees

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Too_Old View Post

                    In other words there is no such mandate.

                    I just quote from the law you pointed me to:


                    (1) A fire protection district may merge with another fire protection district located within a reasonable proximity, on such terms and conditions as they agree upon, in the manner provided in this title.

                    'May' indicate the possibility of something being done. Not a mandate.

                    Is there any legal history in WA courts where auto-aid done via interlocal agreement was found to be in violation of state law ?

                    You keep insinuating that there is something unlawful or improper about auto-aid. There is not.

                    Your issue is a local tax gripe.
                    ROFLMAO

                    Have fun

                    No mandate

                    ROFLMAO

                    If that said they shall merge, all FD's in State would be forced to merge into one Statewide FD

                    ROFLMAO
                    Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-08-2018, 09:55 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Hey too old

                      What do you have against presenting a plan to voters affected, for approval, when messing with their fire response by joining with another community?

                      What do you have against all taxpayers paying the same in taxes for the same fire service?

                      What do you have against merging FD's and eliminating redundant fire admins in order to divert admin money to more firefighters responding?

                      Auto aid does none of that. At least not the auto aid I have seen in Washington State.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
                        What do you have against presenting a plan to voters affected, for approval, when messing with their fire response by joining with another community?
                        Nothing. Go ahead, put together a political coalition. Find the funding (about 3/4 of mil should do) to hire a consulting firm to look at your current state of fire protection. Gather all the expenses that are being incurred in the current system.
                        Have them design a new system with a regional fire authority,
                        - new station locations based on road-miles rather than history,
                        - a financing package that covers the current bonds and the cost to set up the new organization,
                        - a detailed staffing plan that accounts for accepted standards in terms of span of control,
                        - a cost model with realistic staffing cost based on peer organizations,
                        - a tax plan that spells out how mill-rates are going to change for all the jurisdictions involved,
                        - an evaluation of how the reconfiguration will affect ISO ratings and property insurance rates in the different portions of the service area.

                        THEN, with facts in hand, go to the voters across the service area and ask them whether that is what they want to do.


                        What do you have against all taxpayers paying the same in taxes for the same fire service?
                        They will never pay the same. There are differences in tax assessments and differences in property values that will always lead to an unequal burden when it comes to financing schools or public services through property taxes. The benefit of living in a city is that your per-property cost of fire protection is going to be lower. Cost of fire protection mostly goes on a 'per square mile' basis. The higher density of assessed properties in a city allows you to cover much more property within a given response distance around a station reducing the per-property burden accordingly. Living in the country affords you certain freedoms, but anyone who does so knows that there are some trade-offs that come with it. Either higher cost or lower level of fire protection are one of the tradeoffs that come with it. I dont know why this is so hard to understand ?

                        What do you have against merging FD's and eliminating redundant fire admins in order to divert admin money to more firefighters responding?
                        You have yet to show that a merged entity will save on administrative cost. Yes, you'll eliminate a couple of people with the job title 'chief of the department', but you will add a bunch of people with the title 'supervisor' to handle the overhead and friction loss that happens if you have to administer a 10+ station department over a large geographic area.

                        Auto aid does none of that. At least not the auto aid I have seen in Washington State.
                        Auto-aid allows individual entities to cooperate in a manner that benefits their citizens. There is no difference whether two towns share the purchase of a fancy GPS controlled motor-grader or whether they share fire protection. If the auto-aid agreeement in its current form doesn't provide for the sharing of cost, it is up to the boards of those districts that are paying more than they receive to get the agreeement re-negotiated in a way that protects the interests of their citizens.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Too_Old View Post

                          Nothing. Go ahead, put together a political coalition. Find the funding (about 3/4 of mil should do) to hire a consulting firm to look at your current state of fire protection. Gather all the expenses that are being incurred in the current system.
                          Have them design a new system with a regional fire authority,
                          - new station locations based on road-miles rather than history,
                          - a financing package that covers the current bonds and the cost to set up the new organization,
                          - a detailed staffing plan that accounts for accepted standards in terms of span of control,
                          - a cost model with realistic staffing cost based on peer organizations,
                          - a tax plan that spells out how mill-rates are going to change for all the jurisdictions involved,
                          - an evaluation of how the reconfiguration will affect ISO ratings and property insurance rates in the different portions of the service area.

                          THEN, with facts in hand, go to the voters across the service area and ask them whether that is what they want to do.

                          You don't need a new system, you merge the existing systems. Nothing really changes below fire admin as far as system.


                          They will never pay the same. There are differences in tax assessments and differences in property values that will always lead to an unequal burden when it comes to financing schools or public services through property taxes. The benefit of living in a city is that your per-property cost of fire protection is going to be lower. Cost of fire protection mostly goes on a 'per square mile' basis. The higher density of assessed properties in a city allows you to cover much more property within a given response distance around a station reducing the per-property burden accordingly. Living in the country affords you certain freedoms, but anyone who does so knows that there are some trade-offs that come with it. Either higher cost or lower level of fire protection are one of the tradeoffs that come with it. I dont know why this is so hard to understand ?

                          If you are in the same FD by merger or whatever.;Or even a Regional Fire Authority in Washington State, all taxpayers do pay the same property tax rate for their fire service. Not sure where you live but you might think about moving.

                          You have yet to show that a merged entity will save on administrative cost. Yes, you'll eliminate a couple of people with the job title 'chief of the department', but you will add a bunch of people with the title 'supervisor' to handle the overhead and friction loss that happens if you have to administer a 10+ station department over a large geographic area.

                          If you merge three fire admins costing $500 K a year each you don't think money could be saved? I bet you could save $750 K a year for more firefighters with breaking a sweat.

                          Auto-aid allows individual entities to cooperate in a manner that benefits their citizens. There is no difference whether two towns share the purchase of a fancy GPS controlled motor-grader or whether they share fire protection. If the auto-aid agreeement in its current form doesn't provide for the sharing of cost, it is up to the boards of those districts that are paying more than they receive to get the agreeement re-negotiated in a way that protects the interests of their citizens.
                          It doesn't benefit the citizens to mess with their fire response without a plan brought to a vote, without elimination of redundant fire admins and without all taxpayers paying the same tax rate for the same fire service. Call me old fashioned.
                          Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-08-2018, 11:54 AM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
                            You don't need a new system, you merge the existing systems. Nothing really changes below fire admin as far as system.
                            You seem a bit naive in what it involved in administering a larger entity. If you join two small fire districts, you may be able to cut out almost 1/2 of your administration cost because the existing chief and admin support could just take on the responsibility of managing an extra station. That has been done in a number of locations around the state, usually when a small district had difficulty staffing their operation or keeping up with the paperwork.

                            Your gripe is about 8-9 districts responding 'as one' and you wanted them to merge into one entity. Creating such a multi-jurisdictional district either through merger or through formation of a regional fire services authority is a huge administrative and fiscal project and it is uncertain whether there are overall savings on the administrative side.

                            If you are in the same FD by merger or whatever.;Or even a Regional Fire Authority in Washington State, all taxpayers do pay the same property tax rate for their fire service. Not sure where you live but you might think about moving.


                            The question is really 'why should they ?'. Different areas have different fire service needs and citizens who have a varying will to spend money on fire protection. That will is expressed through their respective levy votes, 'levy lid lift' votes, the people they put on their local fire district board etc. Govermnent 'by the people for the people' at its best.

                            If you merge three fire admins costing $500 K a year each you don't think money could be saved? I bet you could save $750 K a year for more firefighters with breaking a sweat.


                            Again, administering the larger entity will require additional resources that a smaller entity doesn't require. Your 'bet' is not a valid tool for administrative decisionmaking.

                            It doesn't benefit the citizens to mess with their fire response without a plan brought to a vote, without elimination of redundant fire admins and without all taxpayers paying the same tax rate for the same fire service. Call me old fashioned.
                            The citizens are represented through their respective fire district boards. This is not some ominous outside entity that 'messes' with their fire response. It is done by their elected/appointed representatives.

                            Have you run for your local fire district board ? Based on your claimed qualifications and the abundance of ideas in your head, I am sure you could be a great addition. You may even become known as 'hail thee, the man who formed the Tri-Cities Regional Fire Authority' (TCRFA). With any luck 10 years from now they'll put up a plaque at the $12million palacial TCRFA headquarters building.












                            Still trying to decide whether you are a genuinely concerned taxpayer with knowledge in the subject area or whether you are just a cantankerous troll who just wants to argue for the sake of arguing.

                            Comment


                            • Personally I think You are the one trolling here too old.

                              Obviously I know what I am talking about.

                              And a TCRFA does not impact me I live somewhere else in my retirement. I live on an island now, a ferry trip from anywhere, not exactly conducive to auto aid; Thank God.

                              You don't know me at all too old, quit pretending otherwise. That just shows the weakness of your argument.
                              Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-08-2018, 02:08 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Too old says:

                                ""Again, administering the larger entity will require additional resources that a smaller entity doesn't require. Your 'bet' is not a valid tool for administrative decisionmaking.""

                                It would only require one fire chief, one assistant fire chief, one training officer, etc and so on instead of multiple fire chiefs and other admin fire officers. Think about that. You think their would be more not less fire chiefs with a merger? That's crazy talk from a troll.

                                Comment

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