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Smoke and Mirrors: Stop calling firefighters "heroes."

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  • Weruj1
    replied
    this doesnt go here ...........let me Dr....

    BLSboy wrote:

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OK Did I make someone mad??
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    You just did!
    Chief: Rule #1 is: if there is a problem or you have a question that is problematic, we keep it internal. If you had questions about your application, you should have contacted the membership, re-applied; something along those lines.
    You're right on one thing: we don't keep applicants swinging in the lurch. You are entitled to know the status of your app.
    Let me say this:
    If your app was in somewhere around the last of October when we were having server problems, it may explain why nothing was done with it. It was lost.
    My suggestion is that you re-submit. If you have any questions on THAT application, i.e. status, please contact me at [email protected].
    CR

    here you go Dr ............

    Leave a comment:


  • drparasite
    replied
    i'm also having problems. i registered for the site, but my accout hasn't been activated yet. any idea how long it takes to get that done?

    Leave a comment:


  • MIKEYLIKESIT
    replied
    Kudos to you Art

    That was quite a coup.... I still think he's wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefReason
    replied
    Anyone else having problems accessing the website?
    The best way to take advantage of the many fine features of the site is to apply for membership.
    Of course, that would include many good articles written by some of the best and brightest of the fire service.
    Remember; you can only read the interview at www.iacoj.com.;)
    CR

    Leave a comment:


  • PFire23
    replied
    George, if you just registered you may have to wait until your account has been activated before you can access some areas of the site.

    Leave a comment:


  • Duffman
    replied
    George,

    Click the "content" link on the upper left portion of the home page. CR's interview is the first item listed. Welcome aboard.

    Duff

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Maybe it's me...

    I registered on the site, but I can't find the article. Can somebody help?

    Leave a comment:


  • Weruj1
    replied
    was hesiatnat to read and as I said last Sunday I would only read because of the interviewer. Seems a little different to listen to him over there...............still gotta go with a goof .......

    Leave a comment:


  • FlyingKiwi
    replied
    Cellblock.

    IACOJ website = http://www.iacoj.com Kinda logical really.

    Chief Reason. Art, that is excellent. Thanks for showing us the other side in a rational manner.

    And it should spark further debate, if it doesn't something is sadly wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cellblock776
    replied
    ChiefReason wrote
    Fellow crusties:
    You can go to the IACOJ website and read the exclusive interview with Doug Gantenbein, the author of the article, "Smoke and Mirrors: Stop Calling Firefighters Heroes"!
    CR

    Cellblock asks:
    Whats the URL? Please post the link for us slow types.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptainGonzo
    replied
    A Tip of the Leather for our very own Chief Reason for a job well done!

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefReason
    replied
    IACOJ Exclusive!

    Fellow crusties:
    You can go to the IACOJ website and read the exclusive interview with Doug Gantenbein, the author of the article, "Smoke and Mirrors: Stop Calling Firefighters Heroes"!
    CR

    Leave a comment:


  • 1835Wayne
    replied
    In my area the DNR has a large amount of land, and every spring they do prescribed burns. As a result, we haven't had to respond to any wildfires in the DNR in over 4 years. They do a good job of maintaining it.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    I had no idea of the ecosystem and how NOT having fires in the forests can actually be a BAD thing.
    CR
    Even in the hardwood forests of northern New Jersey...the amount of duff, litter, slash and snags is approaching levels in which, given the proper conditions, wildfires of historic proportions could take place. We could easily see a firestorm of the same fury which ravaged southern California. All that is needed would be a period of drought, some gusty winds and low humidity. Urban/wildland interface is a REAL problem in my area....and homes would be lost.

    WHY? Any fires which have started in these areas...have been controlled and extinguished immediately. There has been no reduction of fuels in 40-45 years. We are creating the same prescription for disaster that the western states face. Add to that...dead oaks from previous Gypsy Moth infestations and drought stress.

    As for any regular prescribed burning to reduce the hazards....forget about it. We just don't have the funds to conduct Rx burns on the scale needed. The environmentalists would have a field day. Smoke from any extensive Rx burn would surely end up in residential areas. It's a "Catch 22" situation. We're darned if we do...and darned if we don't.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    Naw, I dont need to read the book, I live it each summer.

    I have worked for the USFS and BLM on helitack and engine crews in Montana, and I currently volunteer with a rural MT department covering 740 square miles. It is true, the Feds can waste more money on fire then I ever even dreamed of. It is truely mind blowing the money that just goes up in smoke, no pun intended.

    I truely believe that if they pumped even 25% of that billion dollars spent on wildfire into the rural volunteer fire deartments they could get a much higher level of fire protection. But, it is true, it is now a big buisness with its own momentum, it needs to feed.

    Then we get to the part on how screwed up the fuel loads are getting. We dont have small fires anymore because we have a 100 or so years of fuel build up.

    IIRC each arcre of MT land used to be burnt over by wildfire on the average of every 5 years. This kept the trees farther apart, the pine needles and cones cleaned up, and there was actualy grass growing in between the trees. Now we have a gigantic pile of fuel, the fires burn way to hot and kill the fire resistant pine trees that didnt have a problem with fire until fire fighting came to the west.

    What we need is more logging. The forest were never this dense with trees until fire suppression came along. We need to thin them out and then do prescribed burns to get the underlying fuel load down.

    Funny thing is, the privately owned lands in MT do not have these problems. They are managed much better then the fed lands. It is partly the environmentalist own doing that the forests are in such bad shape, they fight every logging and management effort the USFS atempts.

    On private lands the trees are kept thinned, the pastures and prairie are grazed down to an appropriate level (exception is Conservation Reserve Program grass lands, major fuel there). The fuel loads are not critical. Also, there is insentive to get the fires out because that is peoples lively hood that is burning. Stands of trees represent a familys income from logging, a severe prairie fire can destroy an entire family farm and has put people out of buiseness. It is peoples lives and livelyhood burning on private land.

    There is not the same attitude on the Fed crews, I know first hand, I used to work them while going to college. There very little concern for what happens on fed land, or realy on private land. I have lost count the number of times the Feds have burned out an entire ranch because they wanted to backfire in lighter fuels. That realy ****es off the locals, very very much.

    We have between 75-150 wildfire starts each summer in my Vol fire district (740 square miles). We hit them with every thing we have, 11 high quality brush trucks, 3 tenders, and 30 members. It takes extream circumstances for us to lose a fire. Extream winds or multiple starts (IIRC our record is around 20 fire starts from a single thunder storm in less then 2 hours) can overwhelm us. Our yearly budget is around 50-60 thousand, supplemented with grants when we can get them.

    Now take into acount or nearest federal neibors. They are about 50 miles south and cover a portion of national forest, approx 400 square miles, approx 50-100 starts a year. They have a single type 6 engine, cost about 100,000 thousand, 5 crew members, cost of 20$ per hour at a fire, fire station, cost 50 thousand. Their nearest Fed back up is and huor for second Type 6 due, 2.5 hours for another type 6 and 2 heavies. They have a lot of fires get away from them, includeing what turned out to be the largest wildfire in MT in 2002 (we did structure protection for the county they are in under our MOU, no pay, but we didnt get onto Gov land, we dont work well with them). We sometimes head down to help out the county, but the Feds realy dont like to see us show up, we dont play by their rules and we cut down on a lot of overtime hours for them. We have about 15 members of our department that have worked with the Fed crews either on engine crews, helitak, even hand crews. We all are well trained and the majority of us could pass the pack test if so inclined. We dont want to, we want no red cards, we want nothing to do with the feds. This is a luxury for us, we have very little federal or state land in our county, we are mostly private. We can make our own rules and see no need to play the Feds game, especialy when they have it so screwed up.

    Their yearly budget (just a rough estimate) for this single fire station is around 150,000 for wadges (5 career FFs at 30 grand a year), 10,000 for their Type 6 (they run them for 6 years), 10,000 more for gear, rations, fuel, and maybe 5000 for station power, fuel, and maintenance.

    So, roughly 175,000 a year to operate a single type 6 brush truck covering about 400 square miles. They do no provide mutual aid to neiborhing counties, they only repsond to private fires if they threaten state or federal land. They close the fire station down and move all of the crew and the engine to the BLM district office where they train and polish things all winter long.



    We operate 2 structure engines, 3 water tenders, 1 CAFS Wildland heavy (a BLM surplus incidently), 10 type 6 brush trucks, and a command unit. We can muster 35 trained and experienced fire fighters withing 15 minutes, first guys in are un under 30 seconds (Cheif and Assistant cheif live across the street for the Hall, 10 mor guys are within 3 blocks).

    We apply for fire grants all the time, this year it has added up to about 100,000, a lot of it for safety gear. We have an annual operating budget of about 60,000, we raise about 5 thousand a year from fundraisers and donations.

    So, roughly 165,000 a year to operate 10 type 6 brush trucks, 1 type 3 brush truck, 2 structure engines, 3 water tenders, and one IC bronco which was donated by an oil company. This serves 740 square miles primary coverage area, and no BS, approximate 8000 square miles of mutual aid area. 7 neiborhing counties in 2 states have MOUs with us, as well as the other fire district in our county which is 900 square miles. We also protect a significant oil production area which cover ours and a adjacent county.

    If that doesnt reflect the cost efectiveness of the Federal fire service then I dont know what does...

    Their yearly budget is comparable for the single fire station to the south of us.

    They have approximately 10% of the fire protection in their coverage area as we have in ours.

    Leave a comment:

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