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robbing from the fire department to pay for the PD?

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  • FireLt1951
    replied
    Originally posted by Dalmatian90

    Ya know, San Francisco's called the Boston of the West Coast, I wonder if Oakland qualifies as their version of Detroit. Some cities are just screwed up politically, fiscally, etc and there's no easy solutions. Providing ALS is a good step -- that's probably helping keep their engine company numbers steady, far more people will have their lives threatened by trauma, cardiac, and diabetic issues than fires.
    Dal, we offered to take over the medical part of the Fire Department in our last contract( over 65% of our firefighters are certified medics). The city wanted us to continue with the exact number of companies. This was a totally insane idea and even the arbirator told the city that their idea would not work with the present number of companies available. The city by their own estimation stated that each of our 40 engines companies would run 23+ fire and medical runs a day, above what EMS would run. The city stated that that they would add absoulutely no more companies and that ladder trucks would have to take a heavier load on fire responses (lots of laughs). All this on top of wanting us to also keep up with special operations (confined space, collapse, trench, high angle rescue) and Haz-Mat. For our department to do this would be insane without the offer of more companies being involved in the deal. The city is still pis#@d at the 4 man ride. Fortuantely we have a lot of the community groups and business associations behind us and the city fathers are catching hell right now over companie closings. After 1000's of calls to the Mayor and Commissioner they have backed off. We use public relations to get the message out and so far we've done well. I hope the best for all departments suffering any type of cut back. The cops getting most of the funds is nothing new. It's been going on longer than my 30 years on the department.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 10-27-2003, 08:47 PM.

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  • Dalmatian90
    replied
    Ya know Woods, I don't think it's actually an OSHA reg on the riding on the outside -- basically the manufacturers and NFPA just don't make that capability anymore and put ugly *** signs on your truck to tell you not to! Maybe it's one place we as a fire service did the right thing without formal regulation.

    That said, I don't get as worked up as some by the occassional "working" use of riding a truck. Yes, there's dangerous times to do it, like off-road. And there's dangerous things to do -- we read every year or so of someone falling off a truck or out of a pickup at training, and I gotta wonder a) where they goofing around or b) simply didn't hold on?

    ============

    Anyway, back on topic, I think OFD's reaction (and this isn't to slam you as an individual!) is part of a "cultural" reaction in many parts of the fire service. I guess you'd call it marketing.

    With the new figures he gave, I actually have to trim back my estimates and guess Oakland's only down about 1/4 manpower while their working fires are down 2/3rds and their run numbers overall aren't up as dramatically as many cities in that time frame (sounds like good Emergency Medical Dispatching that they don't go on every sniffle, but the opposite side of the coin it makes you look not as busy.)

    Ya know, San Francisco's called the Boston of the West Coast, I wonder if Oakland qualifies as their version of Detroit. Some cities are just screwed up politically, fiscally, etc and there's no easy solutions. Providing ALS is a good step -- that's probably helping keep their engine company numbers steady, far more people will have their lives threatened by trauma, cardiac, and diabetic issues than fires.

    Gotta keep a postive, professional message going. Yeah, it's not always easy keeping upbeat when the political B.S. is rising above your 3/4s, but ya can't sink to their level.

    "We probably need more guys 'cause we don't get as much practice today" isn't a good line. I think most of us here know exactly what you're talking about but that isn't going to play with managers or the public well.

    Are we getting ALS to our citizens we serve within 4 minutes? If not, that's a place to start looking at where staffing a few extra companies can make a difference.

    Can we show the public where we're not venting fast enough? That's tougher to sell that EMS, but see where you have hard facts to show what's going on. I don't know Oakland very well (drove through once..quickly ) so I don't know what new hazards have developed. Have to say, when I hear "Oakland" I think the guys who where real lucky there was a really big interstate to act as a fire break.

    As for the fire boat, that's where you need down-and-out working to show not only the fire need for it, but how the fire boat company also inventories haz-mats on the shore and handles planning for the myriad of emergencies -- from accidents to potential terrorism -- that come up along the shore. If they have the perception, real or not, that the fire boat firefighters just sat around and played cards all day it isn't gonna raise sympathy with managers & public.

    Gotta keep it positive. No sense in getting into a ****ing match with the cops over who gets more money...hey, we understand they have needs, but ya know, we have needs, too. Keep the message positive, keep the reasoning professional. Might not work this year, might not work next. But it's the best hope we have over time.

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  • hwoods
    replied
    Let's Wander Off In A Different Direction....

    Speaking on Who gets the money, and for what, I noticed that the Garbagemen did not escape notice. Thinking about that, and things like OSHA, Etc. How come we got off the back step 20 - 25 years ago, and the Garbageguys are still riding it?? Stay Safe....

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by hfd66truck
    OFD brother...you need to relax,

    I have read more of George's posts than I have daily newspapers. I don't always agree, but I do know when he is being sarcastic. (note the rolleyes smiley at the end of the sentence.

    We, (no mouse George) The Fire Service as a whole do a terrible job of selling ourselves. period, end of story. We all know that our "downtime" is filled with both meaningful activities - training, truck checks, inspections - and meaningless - TV watching, reading newspapers, etc. The public doesn't care, either way, what we do. All they see is that there are thoose firefighters sitting around, doing nothing, and my taxes are paying for it. Are they right, no way. But we do a ****ty job of explaning our duties, and the importance of paying for protection (like paying for insurance). Now the police seem to do a better job, yet we know that some cops get a much sleep on a midnight shift as we do, they just have the ford emblem imprinted on their forehead afterwords (George,I am making a funny, do not get upset.)

    Until the Fire Service wakes up, and sells 2 in/ 2 out, NFPA 1710 and every other thing to the public, as important and necessary...we will continue to enjoy the view from the toilet bowl.

    Dave
    No offense taken. In fact, I agree.
    I can feel the love.

    Leave a comment:


  • hfd66truck
    replied
    OFd..no need to apologize.

    It is hard to read the "tone" of people's posts. It has been the cause of many flame sessions here. i will not speak for george, but you will see that his heart is in the right place, he just makes us look at the issues through mirrored sunglasses of the dark side. kinda the ole tough love thing.

    Take care...keep posting


    Dave

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  • OFD226
    replied
    Apparently I am not seeing the sarcasm as such, if so I apologize. I am pretty new to this whole internet deal, and as such I am learning that written text can be taken different ways. Posts appropriately edited.
    Last edited by OFD226; 10-26-2003, 06:05 PM.

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Originally posted by OFD226
    OH MY GOD!!! What are you thinking!!! We don't send ENGOUGH firefighters to ANY fires!!! How the HELL can you justify sending FEWER!! In order to accomplish the tasks that MUST be safely performed on any fireground there is a minumum number of firefighters, and in this new age of plastics, light weight construction and an overall more dangerous fireground the number required has gone UP from the 1960's. There are more firefighters being injured per fire now a days than there has ever been in the past, and THIS is due to a lack of personnel to properly accomplish the tasks the HAVE to be accomplished. What do YOU not want done well and quickly? A thorough Primary Search? Ventilation? Hose Line Placement? Have you EVER read anything Tom Brennon has ever written? My god man! Where are your priorites!!
    Read hfd66truck's post.

    Now why don't you funnel your passion on the topics above towards what he suggested? George once said something to the effect of, "we'd rather whine about it than do something about it" in a message to me. And in almost all cases, I think that's 100% correct.

    Leave a comment:


  • hfd66truck
    replied
    OFD brother...you need to relax,

    I have read more of George's posts than I have daily newspapers. I don't always agree, but I do know when he is being sarcastic. (note the rolleyes smiley at the end of the sentence.

    We, (no mouse George) The Fire Service as a whole do a terrible job of selling ourselves. period, end of story. We all know that our "downtime" is filled with both meaningful activities - training, truck checks, inspections - and meaningless - TV watching, reading newspapers, etc. The public doesn't care, either way, what we do. All they see is that there are thoose firefighters sitting around, doing nothing, and my taxes are paying for it. Are they right, no way. But we do a ****ty job of explaning our duties, and the importance of paying for protection (like paying for insurance). Now the police seem to do a better job, yet we know that some cops get a much sleep on a midnight shift as we do, they just have the ford emblem imprinted on their forehead afterwords (George,I am making a funny, do not get upset.)

    Until the Fire Service wakes up, and sells 2 in/ 2 out, NFPA 1710 and every other thing to the public, as important and necessary...we will continue to enjoy the view from the toilet bowl.

    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by OFD226
    OH MY GOD!!! What are you thinking!!! We don't send ENGOUGH firefighters to ANY fires!!! How the HELL can you justify sending FEWER!! In order to accomplish the tasks that MUST be safely performed on any fireground there is a minumum number of firefighters, and in this new age of plastics, light weight construction and an overall more dangerous fireground the number required has gone UP from the 1960's. There are more firefighters being injured per fire now a days than there has ever been in the past, and THIS is due to a lack of personnel to properly accomplish the tasks the HAVE to be accomplished. What do YOU not want done well and quickly? A thorough Primary Search? Ventilation? Hose Line Placement? Have you EVER read anything Tom Brennon has ever written? My god man! Where are your priorites!!
    Oh my God

    Leave a comment:


  • OFD226
    replied
    edit
    Last edited by OFD226; 10-26-2003, 06:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by OFD226
    Are you saying that fires now, even if we have less, deserve less people at the scene to control them? We SHOULD have the same staffing levels as the 60's, if not more, because in my opinion we are less efficient at controlling our fires now due to less exposure to them. As for your anti-union stance : I am a proud UNION brother and the name UNION means a united front above all else. I don't expect everyone to share my opinon.
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. We need to send fewer fire fighters to each fire

    The quote "we are less efficient...". Do you have a mouse in your pocket? My vol. FD is not less efficient today. If yours is, your training chief is not doing his job.

    I am a proud union brother, too. Just one who exercises independent and realizes that maybe, just maybe, there is a more efficient means of doing things.

    Leave a comment:


  • Resq14
    replied
    Re: Re: Yea, and those garbage guy get a big cut too

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI

    But attacking the PD for them being fairly funded is not the answer.
    For the reasons everyone has stated, I agree.

    Leave a comment:


  • OFD226
    replied
    edit
    Last edited by OFD226; 10-26-2003, 06:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave1105
    replied
    I did not start this thread with the intentions of airing my own departments dirty laundry. This was an attempt to find out if anyone else out there was having the same problems as us.
    Huh? You didn't do it to air your dirty laundry.... geez you've got a funny way of not doing something. You did that for one reason and one reason only, so people on these forums would all in unison say a big "Awwwwwww..." and start slagging off the PD. You just have a problem because we're not all drones that are going to act that way. Your thread was questioned because you gave no information. You just seemed like a whiny git who's trucks weren't shiny enough.... and how are we supposed to think otherwise without such information? Oh that's right, the "Brotherhood" means we should give you the benefit of the doubt? Practise was you preach.

    No George, guess I can't count you in there since you think having support for fellow firefighters as a brotherhood unconditionally is "corrupting")
    Count me out too, I don't want to be part of any "brotherhood" that treats people the way you do. I don't want to be part of any silly little clique that immediately banishes you if you use brain power and, shock horror, have an independent thought.

    When you've gotten down off your high horse and are willing to look at an issue from all angles (other than just your own) I might pay you some respect. As far as i'm concerned, your just an elitist who deserves respect from no-one.

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    No George, guess I can't count you in there since you think having support for fellow firefighters as a brotherhood unconditionally is "corrupting
    First of all, I am as much, probably more of a "brother" than you will ever be. I just refuse to vomit back the union mantra. I also refuse to accept that ****ing away taxpayer's money to maintain a status quo of a FD whose working fire load has dropped dramatically in a relatively short period of time is an acceptable way of doing business. Cutting just to cut is not acceptable. However, many older cities are running companies in the same manner they were run in the 60's.

    I'm sorry, your numbers don't seem to be out of whack with many similar sized cities in NJ. You are providing more services than most of them. Momst of them would kill for your manning.

    I questionned the same thing when FDNY was closing companies. My point then, and my point now, is; you cannot tell me that a complete analysis of the FD, any FD, couldn't find a more efficient way of deploying companies, staffing companies and providing services if they looked hard enough.

    Leave a comment:

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