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Automatic aid agreements-Perpetuating the Bureaucracy

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  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
    How was I supposed to know your situation? Lighten up fyredup, you seem tense. Just food for thought.

    Not tense at all. Reading what you have posted and especially the info on your ridiculously top heavy local FD I understand you more than ever. You are a retired firefighter that got his, including a pension, and probably never said boo about any of this while you were riding the gravy train but now that you are out and just a tax payer you want costs cut to save you money. You are as big an enemy to the fire service as the hack politicians.

    But I thought you said auto aid was working for you? IF so, how would auto aid work with those great distances and multiple counties and fire agencies consolidating fire admins would not work. And my experience is limited to Washington State. Like I said, just trying to offer food for thought.

    Each separate department has their own local auto aid. Did you not see the miles of distance between the departments. Either you are purposely being obtuse or you simply can't comprehend what I am writing.

    Auto aid works great for all of them.


    In rural volunteer departments the highest cost is usually the fire administration.

    WRONG! Unless you are paying those admin as full timers. My volly FD pays its Chief $550 a year. The cost of consolidation would be more than the Chief's yearly salary. You are far too egocentric in you opinions not everywhere in the country runs things like you area.

    Now I see why you don't want to thin out fire administrations just firefighters. How many firefighters you training Chief?

    50. I see your top heavy FD has 2 training officers to train 24 firefighters. Remind me again who is overspending for training staff? We have a full time Chief, full time Deputy Chief, part-tine Inspection Chief, part-time Training Chief, 6 full time firefighters, 24 part-time firefighters, 20 paid on call firefighters.

    Dude you are a hypocrite you want to call me out for being a PART-TIME Training Chief as a waste of money while your local FD is so top heavy with admin and staff that it is insane. These are your words:

    The fire district where I live has 12 pro firefighters and maybe a dozen volunteers. We have 2 chiefs ($140 K a year each), facilities director (80 K a year), a fleet director (80 K a year) 2 training officers, 3 office staff. There is money to save in Fire Admins.





    From my experience. auto-aid agreements done in backroom deals are a bad thing for firefighters and taxpayers; A good thing for perpetuating Fire Bureaucracies.. That lawful coming together of fire agencies in Washington State, under state law and voter approval, is a good thing for firefighters and taxpayers; A bad thing for perpetuating Fire Administrations.

    Back room deals? Is that how Washington State works? Here they often require the local village or city council to approve them and then communication with dispatch for them to know the procedure for the auto aid dispatching.

    With your bloated fire admin you have locally I could agree. But your trying to paint the entire country like that shows you have VERY little knowledge of the fire service outside of your area.

    This entire topic should be addressed locally. Well unless you actually are a consultant trying to sell this plan, that sometimes works and saves money and other times leads to cost overruns and bloated admins trying to run multiple stations in multiple communities with varying needs and politics.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    Oh and I should add that we have 8-10 new part time firefighter positions. I would rather see full paid, full time firefighters when it comes to paid firefighters.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    Tell me about it captnjack. I retired to this area and couldn't agree more. I'm working on it. A fleet director, I hope He's a good mechanic with a big title. Facilities Director for basically 2 fire stations that are active and 2 that are storage stations.

    Top heavy for sure. I only wish we could easily combine with another fire district, but we are a ferry ride away from the mainland, allowing for limited mutual aid, but not automatic aid, Thankfully.

    I'm good with Mutual for backup between fire agencies, always have been. But automatic aid in this State is an end run around state lawful ways of bringing fire agencies together with a detailed plan approved by the voters, that turns 2 or more fire administrations into one and has all taxpayers paying the same in taxes for the same all for one fire response. Fire automatic aid does none of that, like the lawful process. Auto aid done in backroom, no vote of the people, auto aid only combines firefighting forces, not fire administrations and auto aid has all the taxpayers paying different amounts of taxes for the same all for one fire response.
    Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-06-2018, 12:26 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • captnjak
    replied
    Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
    Thanks for sharing the info TREE

    In Washington State that is unheard of. A few remote pockets in the State with no fire protection at all, a handful of areas.

    That's the difference in States. So no money to be saved by thinning out fire admins in your neck of the woods. There is still the issue that if your auto aid agreement has multiple fire departments responding as one should have all taxpayers paying the same tax dollars, just to be fair,

    The fire district where I live has 12 pro firefighters and maybe a dozen volunteers. We have 2 chiefs ($140 K a year each), facilities director (80 K a year), a fleet director (80 K a year) 2 training officers, 3 office staff. There is money to save in Fire Amins.
    Your problem isn't auto aid or mutual aid or any other aid. You are top heavy. Fleet director? (Is he/she even a mechanic or is that other additional cost?) How many vehicles are there? Facilities director? How many "facilities are there? The chiefs make good money. Why aren't they handling the facilities and the fleet and the training?
    And three office staff? For what?
    You have 21 paid people and 1/3 of them are not firefighters.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    Thanks for sharing the info TREE

    In Washington State that is unheard of. A few remote pockets in the State with no fire protection at all, a handful of areas.

    That's the difference in States. So no money to be saved by thinning out fire admins in your neck of the woods. There is still the issue that if your auto aid agreement has multiple fire departments responding as one should have all taxpayers paying the same tax dollars, just to be fair,

    The fire district where I live has 12 pro firefighters and maybe a dozen volunteers. We have 2 chiefs ($140 K a year each), facilities director (80 K a year), a fleet director (80 K a year) 2 training officers, 3 office staff. There is money to save in Fire Amins.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
    I think fire admins push fire auto aid over joining forces totally, just to save their jobs.
    Around here, there are no jobs to save in that way. Even the "administrators" - the commissioners - are unpaid. Merging several fire districts would probably result in the hiring of a full-time manager in order to properly track purchasing and regulatory requirements.

    There is great disparity in the cost to the taxpayers, however. My fire district has a tax rate of around 80 cents per $1000. A district across the county is taxed at near $2.50 per thousand. Before our district was created a few years ago, my hamlet had the third highest fire tax rate in the county, which yielded just $5000 a year. It's now less than half that rate town-wide as the costs are spread across that many more properties.

    One of the largest barriers to merging here is just plain parochialism - "we" can't work with "those guys" as one department. Mutual aid "we" can handle...


    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    How was I supposed to know your situation? Lighten up fyredup, you seem tense. Just food for thought.

    But I thought you said auto aid was working for you? IF so, how would auto aid work with those great distances and multiple counties and fire agencies consolidating fire admins would not work. And my experience is limited to Washington State. Like I said, just trying to offer food for thought.

    In rural volunteer departments the highest cost is usually the fire administration.

    Now I see why you don't want to thin out fire administrations just firefighters. How many firefighters you training Chief?

    From my experience. auto-aid agreements done in backroom deals are a bad thing for firefighters and taxpayers; A good thing for perpetuating Fire Bureaucracies.. That lawful coming together of fire agencies in Washington State, under state law and voter approval, is a good thing for firefighters and taxpayers; A bad thing for perpetuating Fire Administrations.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
    Retired Firefighter, EMT and Paramedic too, Fyrredup, didn't mean to disturb your sensibilities with this post.

    Nice Try? Not sure what that mean Just something to think about.

    You a Volunteer?
    Nice try means none of the 3 FDs I am on are even in the same county so the idea of them consolidating is ludicrous.

    I agree with Too_Old in that consolidation doesn't necessarily reduce admin positions. It may eliminate the top dog Chiefs from some departments but odds are they will be replaced with Deputy Chief or Battalion Chiefs to handle the increased admin duties. Some times consolidation is a good idea and others it is a money pit of inefficiency.


    I am a retired career Firefighter / EMT. I am a volly in the small village I live in. I am a part-time Assistant Chief of Training in one combination fire department and the Chief in another combination department. I was a tech college fire instructor for 37 years and served on other FDs to include a military CFR fire department as a civilian firefighter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    Too_Old

    Less so with combining two or three departments maybe, but you think going from three fire administrations down to one wouldn't save money? I think it would.

    And in Tri Cities WA their auto aid fire agreement is between 8-9 fire agencies with 8-9 fire administrations. I know they could sabe fire admin money going from 8-9 fire admins down to one.

    I think fire admins push fire auto aid over joining forces totally, just to save their jobs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    I just think when Fire Departments and Fire Districts start responding asone fire agency at the ground level that combining fire administrations makes good economic sense for taxpayers. I have also never seen an automatic aid agreement where all the different taxpayer groups are paying the same for their all for one fire protection. I'll betcha one of the taxpayer groups is getting by on the cheap, on the backs of the other taxpayer groups.

    Like the following deal with the town of Prosser Wa and Benton County Fire Protection District 3:

    Regional Fire Service Authorities (RFSA) are an option for combining fire departments and fire districts in Washington State.This is what Prosser and BCFD3 finally did, after first combining their fire rescue forces by interlocal agreement. A combining of Prosser and BCFD3 taxpayers by interlocal agreement that was every bit as unfair for their taxpayers as the interlocal agreement for fire automatic aid in TC's is for it's taxpayers. BCFD3 taxpayers were stuck paying considerably more in property taxes than Prosser Taxpayers for their all for one fire rescue service by interlocal agreement. Now with the voter approved RFSA, both Prosser and BCFD3 Taxpayers pay the same in taxes for the same all for one fire rescue service. As it should be.

    Leave a comment:


  • Too_Old
    replied
    I dont think it is a given that a consolidated department would have a lower administrative overhead than independent departments that cooperate in a automatic mutual aid system. Larger organizations tend to grown their own middle-management with supervisors, clipboard carriers and assistants to the regional manager.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigjohn24
    replied
    Retired Firefighter, EMT and Paramedic too, Fyrredup, didn't mean to disturb your sensibilities with this post.

    Nice Try? Not sure what that mean Just something to think about.

    You a Volunteer?
    Last edited by Bigjohn24; 09-05-2018, 11:44 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • barongan
    replied
    subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by Bigjohn24 View Post
    Just something to think about fyredup.

    Why not just have one fire administration instead of three? Automatic aid makes it one fire response with 3 fire administrations for you and the taxpayers,

    Do you think all 3 different taxpayer groups pay the same for each fire department or is one group getting by on the cheap? Do all folks pay equally for the single fire response under automatic aid? If not there is a taxpayer group or two getting shortchanged on the all for one automatic aid fire response payment system, and one taxpayer group getting by on the cheap.

    Just something to think about.
    Yeah nice try. My volly FD is 45 miles from one combo and 92 from the other. so this isn't about them working together.

    At this point I'm not even sure you are a firefighter. My bet is you are either a city councilman or a consultant looking to make what you believe will be cost saving move.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-06-2018, 12:47 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    My county has 42 purely volunteer departments, two career staffed, and a couple with paid drivers that are otherwise volunteer staffed.

    Given the dwindling number of volunteers, automatic aid is a no-brainer. Merging districts/departments won't change that. It might cut down on the number of tones going out, but not much more. We're still short on people. Sometimes those three or four departments will muster just an engine, a tanker, and a rescue, plus an officer or two. Sometimes there's a traffic jam at the scene.

    One of the career-staffed departments routinely goes out on automatics. The other rarely does so - I don't they they are on anyone's run card - if they go out, it's a special call. It's largely a difference in the philosophies of the two department.

    As noted, politics is a significant factor. New York is a "home rule" state - the power is with the lowest levels of government. No higher entity can force a merge - the agencies involved have to agree. There are places around the county where such consolidation would be a good thing - stations that can be hit from their neighboring station with a well-thrown rock, if you will. It made sense when roads were rudimentary and apparatus was slow, but not so much today.

    We have several fire districts with more than one fire company - and each company is dispatched as a separate unit. Sometimes they include the other departments in their district on their run cards, sometimes they don't.

    My department took a beating for a while when our sister department in the district decided that if they went, we should go. Fully a third of our calls that year had a "situation found" as "cancelled enroute." Doesn't do much for morale.

    A county fire department would certainly take care of some of the issues - but the mechinations necessary to make that happen are probably insurmountable.



    Leave a comment:

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