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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    many of you people are quick to suggest that the PGCVFRA did nothing to help company 6, that is incorrect... The PGCVFRA met with the County officials on numerous occasions to work out some type of solution... The fact still remains that Hillside is responsible for their own demise... The spent hundreds of thousands of dollars that they didn't have the capability to pay back...

    The PGCVFRA, unfortunately, does not have the ability to write a check for a several hundred thousand dollars to wipe out someone's debt... If it had the ability, it would have done so, but the fact is that the money just isn't there...

    And you say the PGCVFRA doesnt do anything to help... maybe you should talk to the people at 21/42. The PGCVFRA, the fire commission, and the Chief's office have worked very dilligently with them to straighten out their financial problems.

    Much of what the Association does is behind the scenes... not covertly, but rather through meetings with individuals, etc. The leadership of the Association has come to bat for numerous individuals and stations on many occasions... and you are right... you don't hear about it... why, because in most cases it would have been bad publicity, however by going through the Association's channels, this bad publicity was averted.

    Too many of you have perpetual hard-ons against Ron Siarnicki, and Tom McEachin, and Frank Underwood, etc. etc. etc. What you need to do is open your eyes and see that the Association, the Office of the Fire Chief, the leadership and membership of the Union (Local 1619) need to come together and work as one force...

    UNITED (AS A WHOLE) WE STAND, however if we continue the infighting among our factions, the whole group suffers... We need to work toward common goals, such as station improvements, apparatus upgrades, increased staffing (VOLUNTEER & career)... We all rely on one another...

    The Volunteers provide MOST of the apparatus (except ambulances)... The Volunteers own MOST of the stations, The Volunteers provide MOST of the staffing (about 70%). But, the Volunteers can't do it all...

    Most of the daytime staffing is career. Most of the funds supporting the overall operations come from the County government... Station Maintenance, Apparatus maintenance, turn-out gear, fuel, etc.

    Working together we can accomplish far more then any one faction will ever accomplish alone!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    kvfdlife:

    I think that some form of what you are talking about is possible, though to a degree in place already. You mention having one station with two crews and another neighboring station without one complete crew. In most of the areas within the beltway atleast, that surrounding company already suppliments the decreased staffing by double-pulling. The problem with trying to combine staffing is that individuals volunteer at specific firehouses for particular reasons and if they are then shipped around the battailon to where manning is low, they may not come around at all.

    If you look at the companys with more volunteers you usually find more and better leaders not only for fire ground operations, but general morale as well. Therefore it seems more prudent to continue to allow multiple pulling for the reason of covering understaffed units, keeping volunteers around (if the fire trucks all can't go then no ones going to stick around to staff the one that doesn't get to go to the fires) and lastly, providing an added benefit to the taxpayers above and beyond the basic.

    I would say that a selective system of non-incident based transfers be considered. I'm not sure it could work but its an idea worth considering. This way, extra units are sent to suppliment staffing where gaps exist on a temporary basis.

    Again, these are ideas I doubt the Association would consider because it could eat into the convention and tag committee planning...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    How can the volunteers improve on the staffing issue? Should we start “detailing” volunteers and apparatus to fill in the holes from time to time or go back to the battalion manpower system that was used for a brief time in the seventies? Since it looks like “dumping the house” is going to be a thing of the past, can the volunteers, on a battalion biases, work together to ensure that what is put on the street is fully manned by sharing manning and apparatus? Have manpower checks done at crucial times when staffing is a known problem. Set up “broadcast” e-mail between all stations in each battalion stating what resources are available or short. Why have a crew sit at a station assigned to the third piece out when a station “down the street” can not man the first piece. Can the volunteer chiefs work out a system to help cover the station for a few hours on an as needed basis to help eliminate the understaffing? (Similar to what the county has done with the trucks and rescue units during the daytime) Inner and intra station problems would have to be over come first for this to be successful. It would take a lot of work and coordination, but could be a temporary fix. The benefits are obvious, but as with anything there would be problems.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The County Association Meeting

    Impact of the ‘PG COUNTY MD’ Forum

    Although I must add that sitting behind a computer is not as moving as standing up in an association meeting, it is a start and hopefully will lead to more influential actions. I also say that this is the 21st century now and such on-line discussions should be given a degree of weight by those in power. This is why I will wait in anticipation of a response to these most recent posts by the leadership of the County Association, Fire Commission and County Fire Department. They are aware of the discontent and may decide to remain silent, but there silence will be short-lived if acknowledgement is not made on the mere existence of these issues.

    To expand on what Edwardo9 said; Someone did stand up at the tail-end of the association meeting and pointed out that this forum was in existence and had began discussing the PGVFRA, mostly in a negative respect, I would assume referring to the lack of “true” volunteer support it provides. This individual directed people to take a moment to look at the forum and judge for themselves – no specifics or questions to the Association though. That individual stepped down and the President of the Association, Frank Underwood, initiated his brief remark on the matter. He stated that he was aware of the forum and had read it the day before. That concluded a very moving meeting.

    For those of you who are unaware, President Underwood has been involved in the Association for a number of years. Before being elected to the position of President he served as Vice-President. Throughout his tenure as a leader of the Association, he has maintained a close friendship with County Fire Chief Ron Siarnicki. Being in a position to lead, provide unquestioned support to and better the PGVFRA, this relationship should be examined. You may ask why is this individual hosting events to support Chief Siarnicki’s run for IAFC Treasurer? I would further question: 1) has this involved PGVFRA funds; 2) has he taken time from tasks vital to the Association to provide this support and; 3) Where does his true support lie?

    These are legitimate questions of someone who is to be representing us. When I must question whether sensitive discussions behind closed doors are repeated to Chief Siarnicki, is there not a problem?

    In terms of another leadership issue; why as an Association do we vote so quickly to provide support to individuals running for either public office or within the County Association, Fire Commission or MSFA? Shouldn’t we take a moment to understand how they will support our issues specifically? Maybe we know they come to our meetings and talk the talk, but do the walk the walk? There are many influential individuals who we support that in return have done nothing for us, even when we are in a time of need.

    Downfall of Volunteer Companies

    It must be remembered that the Association is to support not only the volunteer companies, but individual volunteers as well. They have shown a distinct lack of effort on either side of their responsibility. An excellent point was made regarding 6. I would love to hear if the Association has done anything concrete and important to ensure the volunteer medic unit at 6 is successful. It would make sense to have another single station for those who want to provide EMS only services in the County. This makes sense in a number of ways: 1) you have a larger group of individuals interested in the same thing consolidated; 2) this would decrease the negative impact on busy volunteer BLS units in the region and 3) allow a volunteer organization to continue its existence – what should be the key duty of the Association.

    RFD241 made the last post I want to comment on. He hit the nail on the head regarding the need to work together. It should be apparent to all that the back door deal makings will not save your organization forever. The only way is to form a united front where issues between organizations can be dealt with and a strong hand can be brought to bear on the County’s war of attrition on the volunteers. If the County will not listen then there are always others out there – identify them and work towards the common goal of a strong volunteer system in PG County. We don’t have to sleep with each other, just recognize where the lines are drawn between friendly competition and vicious backstabbing.

    *** We know we have the attention of the County and Association leadership. We welcome intelligent discussion on behalf of those individuals. ***

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    We still all need to work together. Just trying to better only yourself will not help in the long run. Weather we like the squad issue or not, I don't think we have much say with what the county wants and does because it's just something else to upset the volunteers about, and that is not what we need. Make the most out of what we have.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My apologies, my alzheimers must have been acting up again. I did not even think of 7 & 8 while I was ranting and raving a while ago.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    What happened to 8?
    Bottom line: The county had it out for them and believe me they got it.
    The county hated both 8 and 33, but 8 didnt have the numbers or the pull that 33 had, so the county put 8 under a microscope. Under this microscope the county found certain flaws. They then exploited those flaws. When 8 went to other companies for help around them, they were either ignored or told to deal with it. Other companies got selfish and tried to expolit these weaknesses into gain for themselves, such as trying to get a squad. The county waited for a major incident, or and incident they could blow up into a major one and they found this in the 8 vs. 37 fight. The Rescue Squad was then taken away. Then the membership began to weaken. The county wanted 8 to take a paid day time crew and an ambulance. 8 resisted, and again asked other companies for help from the county, all of the companies ignored them again. Then another incident occurred (8 vs. 26 paid men) which was blown up into a huge deal. 8 was then restricted to their first due area. The membership was dwindling still. 8 was then basically forced/blackmailed into signing an MOU just like 7 with shift men and an ambulance. I dont know what has happened since (maybe someone could enlighten us that is a member at 8, if there are any left...)

    SO, basically the county got what they wanted because the other companies and the **PGVFRA** turned their backs. I wonder whats going to happen to the other companies when it comes time that the county wants to put an ambulance in? I would hope that maybe we all have learned a lesson...dont trust anybody. Not the County, not each other and definately not the PGVFRA.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I do have one question. I see in some of the earlier posts people talking about co's 7&8. I haven't been around for a while what exactly happened with them, I remember when I was living down there 8 was one of the stronger volunteer departments. I apologize if this is old news and everybody else knows already but if somebody could enlighten me it would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Well, guess what - our forum finally got noticed by the county fire & rescue association. Well, kinda-sorta. Some nice person (i didn't see who it was) whom i assume is genital-less due to his timing, made the announcement to check out our forum and the 'attacks' on the assocation, as the meeting was breaking up. Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea to wait til a meeting breaks up to make an announcement. That way, you avoid the inevitable rebuttal, discussion, and resolution that follows.

    Since we now have your attention, I have a few questions, and i'm sure many others here have them as well.

    I stand by my earlier criticism of the PGCVFRA. I go to the meetings, hear lots of talk, and see little action. Specifically,

    We allowed Tuxedo-Cheverly VFC to quietly fade into the night, never to be seen or heard from again. Granted, there wasn't much to be done there, yet 44 was allowed to become a all-paid station. I understand 34's reasons for doing what they did, bottom line, it was a lack of volunteers that caused 44 to go all paid. What, if any, action did the assn take, or even consider, to help 34 prevent this from happening? Score a point for the union & county.

    Company 6 is in dire straits. Again, they will never become their former selves, but 6 does have to potential to become a '49 of the southside' if you get the meaning (no slights intended towards 49). A well-volunteer-staffed rescue company in the southside would take a lot of strain off of the neighboring companies, and probably help in their efforts to retain firefighters. What is the association doing or considering doing to help company 6, if anything? Don't score a point yet, but my money is on the county & union getting this point as well.

    The county is getting their act in order so that they can slam company 4. Yeah, yeah, yeah, consolidation of 2,3,4.... but that's in the future, i'm talking the here & now. Root of the problem? - not enough volunteer members. What is the assn going to do, or at least considering, to help 4? My money's on the county - why? Because like 6, they'll have to confront the county alone, and they don't have the staffing or resources to do it.

    Last month, we had a heated-at-times discussion about radios. Radios don't mean squat if there isn't anyone around to use them. What is the assn doing to promote volunteerism on a county-wide level, and what is being done, if anything, to help those companies that desperately need more members, but don't have the resources to go after them? Yes, i've heard the committee reports, but it'd be really nice to actually see something. PS- on the rumored video, how about showing it on a cable channel that people actually watch? While we're at it, how about a spanish version, and put it on the all-spanish channel for our large hispanic population to see.

    Those are my few issues for now. I know other posters (and lurkers) have issues as well, and please, please post them and make them known.


    [This message has been edited by Edwardo9 (edited 02-14-2001).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Question-
    I know I said I woundnt post anymore, but I have been trying to collect as many (with the hopes of getting all) patches from the county as possible...

    I have the patches from Companies:

    7 8 11 14 28/48 33/46 38

    I tried to get Company's Patch but I never got an answer from their webmaster.

    I am looking to get the following patches in the near future:
    2 and 3 before they make a new VFD
    5 9 12 21/42 24 26 27 29 32/47 34 37

    If anyone has those or another not mentioned and would like to trade or sell (preferably trade, I have tons of patches from the US that I would love to trade for PG Patches. I can also get FDNY R-2 patches, but its a pain cuz I am at the mercy of thier supply locker...

    Please email me @ [email protected] or click the email thing below.. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I have been watching this topic with some interest and being a former PG live-in thought I would add my two cents.

    I have been in the fire service for 15 years originally starting in central PA. I had a lot of training and what I thought was a lot of experience before living at both Berwyn Heights and Kentland. Every county no matter what the size or what state you are from face the same type of problems. The one thing I can say about PG is that the experience and knowledge that I gained in my time there was absolutely incredible. And the people from PG that say it is the greatest opportunity for volunteers are absolutely right. I was and still am proud to have known and fought fire with some of the best firefighters I have ever known. Another unique thing about PG County is a number of the live-in volunteers were like me, from out of the area and had heard the stories and wanted to see first hand. To all of you younger guys out there who are able and have thought about it I would highly recomend you make a trip and join one of the firehouses. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and even if you don't stay what you can gain in that time will stay with you for a lifetime. I am reading that PG needs volunteers. Well to you guys that have thought about it or are apprehensive, take take from a small town PA person they are great people and will take you in as one of their own. Remember even those incredible "salty old dogs" started out as newbies once too.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Ghetto Fireman:

    Is there a company in the county that cant manipulate that little "line" to better suit themselves.


    leave the line at the door for co. 24 or 34 or 44 or 4

    There are many others for 5, 7, 25, 27, 35, 37, 45, 47, 3 , 23, 33, 43, 1 , 21 , 31 41

    Need I go on?

    Smile, you know you want to.

    You can tell that fires are down in the last month or this forum would have a quarter of its posts.
    point well taken, I am active on the southside and like my fllow brother volunteers in the county, it feels like we are doing a working fire a week, in some cases such as the northside, a fire or two or three a day. stay safe

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by 3511:

    (leave the line at the door for co. 24)

    [/B]

    Is there a company in the county that cant manipulate that little "line" to better suit themselves.


    leave the line at the door for co. 24 or 34 or 44 or 4

    There are many others for 5, 7, 25, 27, 35, 37, 45, 47, 3 , 23, 33, 43, 1 , 21 , 31 41

    Need I go on?

    Smile, you know you want to.

    You can tell that fires are down in the last month or this forum would have a quarter of its posts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    From the best volunteer fire department in the state of maryland.

    Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department
    Engine/Truck Company 24
    5th Batallion, 3rd Division
    Prince Georges County, Maryland
    (leave the line at the door for co. 24)

    services available in Prince Georges and Charles Counties.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Being from the southside of prince georges county, our call ratio has increased tenfold since becoming a member in the early 1980s,
    This is especially true for the vfds of clinton, accokeek and brandywine.

    Leave a comment:

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