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Senator Conrad Burns apology to FF's

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  • #16
    Samson???.............

    Quick Question. You've been there, and you know a bit about this. USFS, BIA, BLM, etc. get rid of Engines on a regular basis. These are not worn out clunkers, they still have a lot of good years of use left in them. Are they donated to local VFDs out in your area??
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
      The Senator has acknowledged that and apologized. At least his tiraid brought the real problem out in to the open a little more.
      What problem? That he is a jerk? He WAS way out of line and his apology was LAME-O.
      IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by hwoods
        Quick Question. You've been there, and you know a bit about this. USFS, BIA, BLM, etc. get rid of Engines on a regular basis. These are not worn out clunkers, they still have a lot of good years of use left in them. Are they donated to local VFDs out in your area??

        I am not aware of any being donated to a VFD in our area, or in the state for that matter. I believe they all go to Federal Surplus property where they are sold off or issued to second tier federal fire services. From memory I believe they keep the Type 6 engines for 6 years, the Type 3 or other larger engines for 10. You are correct that many of these vehicles are in prime condition and have a lot more fire service life in them. They are maintained to a very high degree, no leakes allowed!

        Our state surplus property could possibly get ahold of them, but the system seems to have broken down. We have put in request numerous times, no luck at all.

        The local VFDs do get state DNRC trucks (I am speaking about Montana here, I dont know how the other states work it), there are something like 300 of those "co-op" trucks state wide (big state though, not many trucks for the square miles covered) ranging from very nice F550s to old dodge power wagons that are nearly impossible to keep on the road. The DNRC can only replace a small amout of these units on a yealy basis so many of them are 30+ years old, but its far better then nothing...most of the time.

        We have one of the co-op engines, an old Air Force Chevy 4 door 3/4 ton with a slip on unit. Its wheel base is so long that its prone to hanging up off road. We try to use this only as a last resort when we are fully committed to the battle.

        I would wadger the NIOWA is the authority here for fed surplus propety and how that all works.

        We did once manage to purchase a old BLM type 3 engine through surplus once, it was only $14,000! For whatever reason we had to work with Fed folks out of Florida to make the deal work!?!?

        A great deal actually, we have been trying to repeat this success over the last few years, no luck yet. Its on an international Chassis with only 33,000 miles! It had a CAFS/Slurry system (yes, Slurry) that was split into a 700 gallon water, 50 gallon Class A, and 50 Gallon Slurry mix. All steel tank, heavy as heck, and very corroded. The CAFS system was hammered! The unit was 10 years old and had some very corrosive stuff in it for that whole time with questionable flushing having taken place over that time. The slurry system was completely rotted out, the CAFS was still workable but was a very complex system to work. It finally died while performing structure protection duties at a large wildfire complex so we had to renovate it.

        We are lucky to be better off lately compared to other MT departments becuase we have oil and gas in our county. The coffers have been filling so we rehabed the old BLM heavy.

        We put an Odin Faom CAFS on it, very simple to use. 800 Gallon poly water tank with 20 gallon foam cell. Generally cleaning up and some rhino liner work on the utility box. 36,000$ total, made a world of difference. Incredible for structure protection. We also put a Firefox front bumper/remote control monitor gun on it as we have a lot of pump and roll. It is MUCH better then running/walking beside the truck, and its a heck of a lot safer then riding on the truck (no no!!! no tailboards, no brush truck cowboys, there are better ways!).
        Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 08-07-2006, 12:22 PM.
        -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
        -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

        -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

        -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

        Comment


        • #19
          This Type 3 is the only Fed surplus engine operating in our area that I know about. As I said, $14,000 form fed surplus, then we had to put about $36,000 into it for the new CAFS, tank, and monitor plus micilaneous. It has been a GREAT unit, can crawl anywhere, and has saved at least 3 structures taht I know of becuase I was present when it happened, and probally a few more that I missed out on. All in all a great investment...I just wish we could do it again! We could use 4 of these things!!!

          I do wish the Feds would use more trickle down with their surplus. I believe it could pay huge dividins by enhancing local Initial Attack strenght.

          Hope that answers you question, for the intricassies of this NIOWA knows the Fed system inside and out, maybe he will notice this thread.
          Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 08-07-2006, 12:21 PM.
          -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
          -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

          -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

          -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

          Comment


          • #20
            I love the way people love to bash the Feds without knowing what they are talking about. The USFS typically runs light type 6 engines (1 tons) for 5 years, heavy type 6 engines (Ford F450, 550) up to 10 years and heavies type 3,4, & 5s for 15 years. When its time to get rid of the engines they are sold to local fire departments for $1, yes 100 cents. The disposal is handled through the state forestry offices so if you guys are not getting these deals look at your state, not the Feds. This only applies to the fire equipment so a slip on engine will have the truck sold at auction and the slip on unit will be passed along to the state forestry agency. This is probably the situation you will have in Montana since the Model 52 in several sizes is quite popular. Having to buy a truck for it is not as nice as getting a whole unit for $1 but a $10,000-20,000 slip on unit practically for free is still quite a deal.

            As far as attitude from the teams you have to consider the wide area they cover, you know all those bone head departments people like to bash on, will how many times do you think you would like to get burned by these knuckle heads before you give up and pull known resources. While all of us have our good and bad crews, a USFS, NPS, BLM, USF&WS, BIA crew can only be so bad, unlike xyz fire department that puts any Joe Blow behind the wheel of a rolling junk pile claiming to be an engine. It is not uncommon to have departments practically tow an engine to a fire then try and get the fire to buy new tires to replace the bald ones it came with and get the fire to provide $20,000 in maintenace and repairs that were long over due before the fire started.

            The Feds follow the 310-1 very closely, you don't get to serve in a position until you have demonstrated that position with a trainer who has taken the responsibility for that person by saying they are qualified. I personally know of many (including some large well respected agencies) that think if you take the class you is one or if you are a certain rank you get certain quals with the bugles.

            Yes there are plenty of ways the Fed fire system can be improved but the Fed wildland agencies are at the top in regards to fighting fire, it seems our upper management can't find its own butt lately, but the folks at the district level are trying their best, if you try and work with them instead of bitching at them they can be a great resource. We had great working relationships with the majority of the with the local departments where I have worked. I know this isn't true in all places but that is a two way street.

            As far as the "honorable" senator he showed his absolute ignorance of how wildfires are managed with his comments, a bad sign for a Western senator who should know at least a little about such things. Bashing on the troops whether they are firefighters, law enforcement or marines is always a bad move and poor judgement.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF
              I love the way people love to bash the Feds without knowing what they are talking about.
              Ad Hominim...the figures I gave were "good enough for government work".

              The USFS typically runs light type 6 engines (1 tons) for 5 years, heavy type 6 engines (Ford F450, 550) up to 10 years and heavies type 3,4, & 5s for 15 years.
              The type 3 we got our hands on was 10 years old at the time of replacement, it was a BLM engine, I dont know if they have a different schedual then the USFS.

              When its time to get rid of the engines they are sold to local fire departments for $1, yes 100 cents. The disposal is handled through the state forestry offices so if you guys are not getting these deals look at your state, not the Feds. This only applies to the fire equipment so a slip on engine will have the truck sold at auction and the slip on unit will be passed along to the state forestry agency. This is probably the situation you will have in Montana since the Model 52 in several sizes is quite popular. Having to buy a truck for it is not as nice as getting a whole unit for $1 but a $10,000-20,000 slip on unit practically for free is still quite a deal.
              As I mentioned earlier, I have never heard of something like this happening in my state (or ND, SD, or WY for that matter)...and I also said that I believe our surplus system is BROKEN.

              No surprise here when you consider our politicians expertise in regards to the fire service...

              Answer me this, can a MT department come to your state (or any other state for that matter) and buy a firetruck for a dollar???

              If so I will be out there with 100 buckeroos (donated personally mind you) and 100 Volly guys to drive them back.

              As far as attitude from the teams you have to consider the wide area they cover,
              There is no excuse for a IC team with a bad attitude. They have to remember who they work for, who they are guests of, and that they are profesisonals.

              I have very very high expectations of the IC elite, they have most often dissapointed those expectatoins.

              you know all those bone head departments people like to bash on, will how many times do you think you would like to get burned by these knuckle heads before you give up and pull known resources. While all of us have our good and bad crews, a USFS, NPS, BLM, USF&WS, BIA crew can only be so bad, unlike xyz fire department that puts any Joe Blow behind the wheel of a rolling junk pile claiming to be an engine. It is not uncommon to have departments practically tow an engine to a fire then try and get the fire to buy new tires to replace the bald ones it came with and get the fire to provide $20,000 in maintenace and repairs that were long over due before the fire started.
              I expect an IC team to rise above and do their job to near perfection. There is to much at stake to expect any less. Regardless of how abrasive, wild, out there the locals are the IC team still has a job to do, citizens to serve, and the public trust to uphold.

              Yes there are plenty of ways the Fed fire system can be improved but the Fed wildland agencies are at the top in regards to fighting fire,
              Bold Statement...The burden of proof lies you with you now!

              it seems our upper management can't find its own butt lately, but the folks at the district level are trying their best, if you try and work with them instead of bitching at them they can be a great resource. We had great working relationships with the majority of the with the local departments where I have worked. I know this isn't true in all places but that is a two way street.
              We get along just fine with the local feds, to much top down BS though. The thing is that there arnt many Fed resources around. 95% of the IA duties falls to the locals in our region, its simply a matter of numbers. An really, what the hell is a single type 6/3 man engine with 300 gallons of watter going to do to a running grass and sagebrush fire after a 75 miles drive one way to get the sence?

              Not a damn thing, thats what.

              The local resources here prop up the Fed and state resources far more then most reslise. Locals are the first line of defence, district Fed resources only add a minimal amount of IA power to that system (again, this is my region, results may vary), when it gets beyond that is when things get really expensive...

              As far as the "honorable" senator he showed his absolute ignorance of how wildfires are managed with his comments, a bad sign for a Western senator who should know at least a little about such things. Bashing on the troops whether they are firefighters, law enforcement or marines is always a bad move and poor judgement.
              Well, if we can just change all of the MT state upper management, the Fed upper managment, the surplus system, etc...

              Then all will be well...not in my lifetime though.
              -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
              -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

              -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

              -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

              Comment


              • #22
                Report: Burns irked by Boise fire management
                Released documents include more details about senator's run-in
                By CHARLES S. JOHNSON, Gazette State Bureau
                More details emerged Monday from U.S. Forest Service documents about Sen. Conrad Burns' recent confrontation with firefighters, including the senator's complaints that managing fires from Boise doesn't work.

                The Gazette State Bureau on Friday requested and received Monday three pages of internal Forest Service reports on what happened at the Billings airport the morning of July 23, when Burns complained about how the Bundy Railroad fire was fought.

                Tom Roach, a division group supervisor on the Bundy Railroad fire, wrote he was walking on the airport tarmac past Burns, who "was staring at the NRIMT logo on my shirt." NRIMT stands for Northern Rockies Incident Team.

                "He began following me as I passed and began yelling at me, 'Are you from Boise? Are you from Boise?' " Roach wrote. "I replied, 'No, sir.' He responded, 'Good, your life has been saved.' " Roach wrote that he walked away from Burns.

                The Forest Service report included the criticisms that Burns made to Paula Rosenthal, a public information officer from the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, about how the Bundy Railroad fire was fought. Rosenthal was called to the airport by Forest Service officials to talk to Burns after he criticized some members of the Augusta (Va.) Hot Shots. Her separate state report was made public Thursday.

                Burns, she wrote, had these comments:
                "This command/control doesn't work."
                "Managing these fires from Boise does not work."
                "Ranchers complaining firefighters/engines driving right by while their land is burning."

                The report contained an account by Gabe Templeton, one of the Augusta Hot Shots, describing what happened to him and fellow team members Jeff Cleek and Jude Waerig. It said the three men were sitting in the Billings airport waiting for their flight when Burns approached them with an outstretched hand and asked if they were firefighters.

                "I shook his hand and replied yes," Templeton wrote. "He shook my hand introduced himself and then replied, 'What a **** poor job' we were doing. I replied, 'Have a nice day.' The senator mentioned that we were 'wasting a lot of money and creating a cottage industry.' He also told us that we needed to listen more to the ranchers. I replied that 'we are pretty low on the totem pole.' Then he walked off."

                In response, Burns' spokesman James Pendleton said Monday: "This indicates the level of response with the situation."

                Pendleton noted that Burns issued an apology Thursday night, saying he shouldn't have criticized the firefighters, who do "the hard, tough job of battling one of Mother Nature's toughest beasts." The senator said he has nothing but admiration for firefighters.

                "He freely admits he took out his frustration on the wrong people," Pendleton said, adding that Burns was upset over preparation and coordination of firefighting efforts. "There's definitely some problems that need to be addressed. He's frustrated with Boise, and he let it go."

                Dan Jiron, a Forest Service spokesman in Washington, said, "Senator Burns has apologized about this. As far as we're concerned, that's the end of the story."

                He said firefighters have done a great job in the field, with a 99 percent success rate with their initial attack on fires.

                "The reason why we have had that success is we have been properly funded and equipped to do our jobs, and Senator Burns is the chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee," Jiron said. "He's always been supporting funding and the right equipment."


                --------------------------------------------------------------------------

                I doubt I would have had the paitients to take crap off of Burns, what jackass!

                I wasnt going to vote for him anyway, but now I am not going to vote for him twice!

                I think the problem is that the entire system is made out of the wrong stuff...

                Governmentium: A major research institution (MRI) has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named Governmentium. Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of three years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

                This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass.
                -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                Comment


                • #23
                  The FEDS have two major surplus systems. DOD and GSA for most everything else.

                  DOD surplus goes they the DLA DRMS system. Fire Depts thru their state forester, thru US Forestry can request (and often get) most any DOD surplus property available (thousands of items every week) that they can justify for wildland fire protection. This includes dozens of trucks every week (80% milspec AWD from 5/4t 4x4 to 20t 8x6 & 20% civilian - mix of RWD & AWD). At least 1/2 of the DOD trucks (including many that just need batteries, fuel) get auctioned off to the public/surplus dealers. Same for many civilian model trucks. All the DOD surplus equipment is FREE to the State Foresters. It costs real $ to get from whereever it sits to the fire dept. Someone has to make it happen and pay for the transport (and needed repairs and modifications for fire use). And there are real structural fire trucks and airfield trucks in the system. The equipment is a LOAN to the FD/no title but you can do most anything you want as far as modifiying it for fire use.


                  If this equipment/these trucks are not reused by the Feds (as US Forestery) the 50 state Surplus Property Offices can request/get them and can transfer/sell them to gov't bodies/nonprofits/etc. I think this is where Samson got his IH 4x4. The State Surplus Property Offices get the equipment for FREE (with title) and everyone that I know then SELLS it to the end recipient. This cash pays for transportation and to operate the State Surplus Property Office in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. A bone of contention. Most State Surplus Property Offices run a warehouse/yard where they have inventory on hand.

                  GSA is supposed to receive all the surplus equipment/vehicles from all the non DOD branches (NASA is the only exception I've come across). Same process as DOD. Forester can request for loan to FD then State Surplus Property Offices can request (with title).

                  It's my impression that most State Foresters are brokedick when if comes to using the FEPP program. But to be "fair", in Iowa the program head has it as about her 10th additional duty and ZERO budget to do anything. The State Surplus Property Offices seem to me to be pretty poor and that is all the do and they have $ to work with. How hard is it to make a profit selling free inventory? Samson's engine costs $14K??? Spend 15-30min on the phone determining condition of a truck, 30sec doing an online req. and send a semi/trailer you got for free thru the system to pick it up in bugtussle, Mt. Perhaps ad some wrecker expense at the pickup point. Perhaps you DRIVE IT TO HOME Add in A.) an inspection before pickup or b.) get it home/decide it won't work and AUCTION it off to the public/cash in to the State Surplus Property Office.

                  We have used DOD surplus to rebuild our FD and has only works because I've made it work. Has worked very well. www.stanleyiowa.com

                  Have not used GSA because I've found no way to view listings of GSA surplus (you need a secret decoder ring and membership in the club to get a password to the GSA website).


                  Yeah system is broke.

                  You want to see what your FD missed out on go to www.govliquidation.com This is all the LEFTOVER DOD property being auctioned off to the public.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    It would be very interesting to know how the Forester Type ___ engines/trucks are disposed of at the end of the Federal Service Life. There is a "loophole" that essentially allow a Fed agency the OPTION of trading in equipment to the seller of a like new replacement piece of equipment. You can bet that gets bent a bit. Called an "Exchange/Sale Authority".

                    So who makes these Forestry trucks used by BLM/etc? Ask the Sales agency/Mfg concerned if they are receiving the old trucks as a trade in on the new units.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Something Isn't Right................

                      Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF
                      I love the way people love to bash the Feds without knowing what they are talking about. The USFS typically runs light type 6 engines (1 tons) for 5 years, heavy type 6 engines (Ford F450, 550) up to 10 years and heavies type 3,4, & 5s for 15 years. When its time to get rid of the engines they are sold to local fire departments for $1, yes 100 cents. The disposal is handled through the state forestry offices so if you guys are not getting these deals look at your state, not the Feds. This only applies to the fire equipment so a slip on engine will have the truck sold at auction and the slip on unit will be passed along to the state forestry agency. This is probably the situation you will have in Montana since the Model 52 in several sizes is quite popular. Having to buy a truck for it is not as nice as getting a whole unit for $1 but a $10,000-20,000 slip on unit practically for free is still quite a deal.
                      Bro, You and I usually are on the same side of the discussion, and I respect your position, but I can't buy this story, this time. Here's where I'm at: I can't comment on how long the Feds keep apparatus, I've never been a party to that information. However, I have what I consider a good handle on Surplus Property and I'll explain: I'm employed in Fire Protection by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service. I am also a Volunteer Fire Chief, and I chair the Legislative Committee for the Maryland Fire Chief's Association, as well as being the Chair of The Maryland State Firemen's Association's Surplus Property Committee. I have been working for over TWO YEARS trying to find a Surplus Engine from BLM, BIA, USFS, NPS, and anyone else in the Federal Alphabet soup. I have a trail of emails that make a "Get-rich-quick" chain letter look small by comparision. I still have not found a single one. None. No one can, or will, tell me where these things go. Several folks have said that I ought to hang around Long Beach Harbor (Calif.) and watch what gets loaded onto ships for the Federal Giveaway programs overseas. No one in Maryland has purchased an Engine for a dollar from a Federal agency, Period. Never. My boss has climbed all over people all thru the Fed system, no luck. The Congressman for my district is a member of a VFD, and he has been asking pointed questions, and not getting a straight answer. Something Ain't Right.
                      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                      In memory of
                      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                      IACOJ Budget Analyst

                      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                      www.gdvfd18.com

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Ok, maybe I was a bit annoyed but there is a distinct bag on the Feds theme in these forums. Some deserved (FEMA, DC) some not.

                        I don't expect you to know how long we run our apparatus, however the trucks are already being practically given away, if the states are taking advantage that is your states problem, not a Fed one, I know California and Arizona have functional programs in place because our equipment is out there being used by the local departments. Bashing the Feds because your own state is sticking it to you is uncalled for. Maybe the Feds should handle the door to door delivery but then I'm sure some would complain that the Feds are getting involved in a state issue, so you see its a no win situation. AS NIOWA said cheap ex Fed engines are out there, its a matter of dealing with several levels of government. I know of entire FD's outfitted with ex-fed engines structure (DOD) & wildland (USFS, BLM etc). Alot of this equipment sits because nobody takes it.

                        Part of the USFS mission is supporting rural fire protection so our equipment is sold for $1, what the states do with it I don't know. As far as I know a Forest can not "decide" to surplus it other than to the state forestry department. Not sure about other agencies but I understand they have similar policies.

                        Harv part of your problem is probably your location, the smaller Forests of the East typically lease GSA engines, when they are done with them they go back to GSA and who knows what GSA does with them.

                        Samson in your case I'm sure a large part is your state, obviously Montana has alot of USFS and BLM engines that could be going to you when they reach the end of their service life but I would guess part of the problem is the anti-Fed attitude so common in the area (those who might be inclined to help probably just avoid any extra dealings with the locals) and then someplace there is a break down in your state government. You need to remember Montana was one of the states that originated the idea of the USFS changing from the green to a white paint job on the trucks, they wanted to be a less obvious target.
                        How much effort have the departments in your area made to obtain these old engines, when I worked in Region 3 several local fire chiefs would come down and ask about the trucks we had going to auction so they knew which ones they wanted (we had all slip on units so the trucks were auctioned seperately).

                        As far as the teams go, when was the last time you let a homeowner make fire ground decisions on a structure fire? Not really much difference between that and letting ranchers call the shots on a large wildland fire. I know many ranchers have wildland experience but most have no real concept of the big picture strategies involved on a 40-50,000 acre fire, realistically neither do the Chiefs of small departments, when an IMT is activated it generally involves alot more than one ranchers property or even a fire districts interests, it is generally a pretty serious incident involving a large geographical area, with many conflicting interests involved (life safety, private property, cultural sites, environmental concerns etc).

                        The Fed IMT's allow non-Fed members, the Fed IMT's started allowing this long before any State IMT's did. I know of at least one Type 1 team that until recently was run under an IC from a County FD. State and Municipal FF's can take lead roles in the most demanding emergency management positions in the world, that doesn't really sound like the Feds being all knowing and pompus to me. They know how to bring control to chaos, sometimes they may step on a few toes, its bound to happen, you can't make everyone happy. I know I have chased some amazingly expensive political smokes all in the name of keeping the ranchers happy, then usually some "watch dog" group shows up and starts complaining about wasteful spending.

                        The use of locals is a tricky thing, there have been many examples of local departments doing their own thing completely outside the knowledge or control of the IC, that is not a good way to encourage a team to use you over their own agency crews that can be expected to follow the rules and to have the quality expected (ability to operate unsupported for 24 hours, available for 14-21 days, required training is met etc). Besides the locals really need to be released to protect their district, it sucks to be in sight of a major fire and not being involved but that often happens, even with our crews. When we have a major fire on the Forest it is not uncommon to have several off forest strike teams come in to the fire and the local Forest crews go back to their stations, it makes more sense to have our crews that are familiar with the area responding to new starts than it does to put some engine possibly from out of state in our stations.

                        As far as contract engines that is a political issue far removed from the IMTs, it is a big can of worms that can be as heated as any smoothbore vs fog, paid vs volly, or lights on povs topic, so I'll decline to go there.


                        As far as how useful a single type 6 is? For one thing that is a bit of an exageration You have to remember those engines are there for the Forest, BLM land etc, not to protect the entire state. They put out alot of fires you never hear about, they also are there to make contact with the public, enforce regulations, educate etc, most have level 2 law enforcement powers (meter maids ) they also do alot of resource improvement work (including putting up fences so the ranchers cows can graze on Federal land), its not your typical image of career FF's sitting around waiting for the bell to go off, we are on duty for 8 hours / day and we are expected to get alot of work done in that time.

                        As far as the college kid comment, that is probably still true in your area but that is changing, R3 (AZ/NM), R5 (California) and R6 (OR/WA) have developed a real career path for the firefighters, our salaries still have a long way to go but the crews are largely career positions. In the other regions it is still not uncommon to find captains who only work 6 months a year but at least most are no longer temp employees.

                        As far as the quality of the crews, I stand by that, the Fed wildland agencies have some of the best crews out there. The Fed agencies (USFS, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, BIA) respond to 15,000-20,000 fires / year on Federal lands, I don't know what the numbers are when you add in mutual aid, but I would guess it doubles at least, so the experience base is certainly there. Training is pretty much unmatched by any agency I've seen, we get alot of training and we are required to meet the training requirements or we don't go to fires. I doubt very much any firefighters from any agencies can match the fire experience of the Hotshot crews, very few will see that kind of fire in their careers.
                        I'm not saying that other agencies don't have crews as good as the Fed crews simply they are among the best. Sure some are slugs and we have our culls, with about 20,000 FF's you will have some slip by, but they are the exceptions.


                        As far as loading up a bus with drivers armed with dollar bills, I'll see if I can get more information about our excess property, I was in Sacramento last year and there were 20-30 of our old engines, Model 42 type 6 (90 gpm, 285 gallon tanks), Model 51 & 60 Type 3's (150 & 350 gpm, 300 & 500 gallon tank) and several patrol trucks sitting there waiting for someone to claim them.
                        Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 08-05-2006, 12:09 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Well....................

                          NonSurfin' Thanks for clearing up a few points for us. I, for one, am in the position of responding to Wildland or Structure Fires, with Wildland or Structural Apparatus. I am also a Chief Officer in a Large Combination department. My point was not that I expected 10 Engines from a Big City Department to end up on a Mountain top in Montana, with their crews out on the Fire Line, digging. I do feel strongly that those 10 engines and crews could be protecting structures in towns threatened by the Fire. Here, The comment that "We don't have enough Engines" would be cause for someone being sent home, we do not have a limit on apparatus. Someone recently did some work on a disaster plan, and found that we could get 100 Engines assembled at a central location in Less than 3 hours, WITHOUT LEAVING ANY STATION EMPTY. We send apparatus out of state from time to time, most memorable was the 30 Pieces from Maryland that went to Florida about 5 or 6 years ago.
                          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                          In memory of
                          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                          IACOJ Budget Analyst

                          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                          www.gdvfd18.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Good dicussion gentlemen, I can see we are all heading the same direction but along different roads which all seem rather bumpy at times.

                            I admit that I am guilty at times for being hard on the Feds, but I am only 1/10 as hard on them as most people I know! I used to work for BLM fire crews, engine/helitak district crew, so I know that the system at the grunt level works pretty well, its the management ant top down issues that I have a problem with.

                            I am amazed with what NIOWA has done with surplus and a lot of elbow greese! I have tried to learn from what he has done, but I have not been able to dedicate enough time to it at this point.

                            Montana is totaly FUBAR on the surplus systems. The needs to change ASAP as we do have a very serious and worsening (global warming, logging issues, interface growing) wildfire problem. We need to get better equipment in the hands of the VFDs and we need more full time career federal/state firefighters.

                            I am planning on studying the surplus system more as time allows. NIOWA has done great things in a state that seems to have some of the same surpluss problems we have, so there has to be a way!

                            Again, I do wonder if its possible to cross state lines on the surplus thing? I have that Benji set aside just in case!

                            Edit: Went back and got rid of the pics of the Mean Green Machine as I relized it was screwing with the width of the forum!
                            -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                            -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                            -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                            -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Here's an Idea...............

                              Samson, Neiowa, and anyone else that is interested - Send a letter to the Chairman, National Volunteer Fire Council, asking what they can do to help make the Surplus program work better for us. I'm starting a letter today, I'll post it when I'm done.
                              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                              In memory of
                              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                              IACOJ Budget Analyst

                              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                              www.gdvfd18.com

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                NIOWA, question for you.

                                Can you suggest any resources or further reading to pursue to gain a better understanding of how this all works?

                                It seems like a dream come true, to good of a deal, etc...

                                We have a lot of apparatus to udate, etc...this would be by far the most afordable way to do it!
                                -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                                -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                                -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                                -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                                Comment

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