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  • How's this for Brotherhood....?

    After 09-11 we saw images of Police and Fire working side by side, battling to save lives, battling to support each other in recovery efforts, day to day activities and budget battles. We were definitely "One for All and All for One!"

    I attended a city commission meeting here on 09/09 (Just two short 2 days before 09/11). At this meeting two (2) "taxpaying citizens" (the same two that brought out the item two weeks earlier) stood before the commission and made a pitch to get rid of the fire department or "contract it out" to the County to save the city money. They did not want a tax increase. Part of the reason the city is in the budget position they are in is due to a takeover by the County Fire Department of some area that resulted in a loss of $300,000 in money. The proposed budget of the FD for this year is $300,00 less.

    As it turns out....These two speakers are employees of the County Sheriff's Office. Nice to have your brothers look out for you isn't it?

    The City Police Chief stood and made reference to how in post 09/11 days people went out of their way to thank him and tell him how important he was. He even offered to take a $10,000.00 cut in salary to help with budget shortfalls. He then said that now people want to give up the Fire Department at the first drop of budget problems. What happended?
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  • #2
    There is a pie with a finite number of slices. There are people with an insatiable apetite for pie. As long as you give them pie, they crave more and more. Finally, the end of the pie is in sight and people are still hungry. Selfish attitudes take over and a cut throat fight occurs. There is a winner and a loser.

    In cases such as this, there is a basic instinct at work. People are more afraid of a bad guy coming into their home then they are a fire. Cops know this and play this card when the money is short. Happens all the time.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

    Comment


    • #3
      George...I agree with you....BUT....the County Budget is not in jeopardy (fire or Sheriff)... There are two disctinct different governing bodies....the city commission and the county commission and two very different budgets. These folks just moved to the city and do not want taxes to go up.... Also...it seems apparent that the folks that are always willing to give up the fire department have never had the need for their service....

      Do not get me wrong here.... The proposal is a good one (for the most part) in that it will give the firefighters more money. However, there is a private municipal pension fund and some folks are at the end or in the "Drop" plan. There needs to be a provision to protect it because the most you can buy back in the state plan is 5 years. Other things like seniority and rank retention are also a concern of the employees.

      These two folks (sheriff's Dept employees) spoke up to pitch the fire department but spoke in favor of keeping city golf course that was estimated to lose $100k more than it took in this next budget year.

      You figure it out!
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      ------------------------------
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
      BMI Investigator
      ------------------------------
      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

      Comment


      • #4
        One of the recent FireRescue magazines (not sure which month, but I was reading it in the, um, library, this morning) Jim Page had a fascinating editorial history of the California Tax Revolt.

        The revolt had it's roots in bad public policy/tax decisions that where sending the dollars paid by taxpayers skyrocketing.

        One of the lines was about the break down of union solidarity -- uniform employees who came out and said, "Given a choice between losing my house or my job, I'd rather lose my job."
        IACOJ Canine Officer
        20/50

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        • #5
          Originally posted by captstanm1
          George...I agree with you....BUT....the County Budget is not in jeopardy (fire or Sheriff)... There are two disctinct different governing bodies....the city commission and the county commission and two very different budgets. These folks just moved to the city and do not want taxes to go up.... Also...it seems apparent that the folks that are always willing to give up the fire department have never had the need for their service....

          Do not get me wrong here.... The proposal is a good one (for the most part) in that it will give the firefighters more money. However, there is a private municipal pension fund and some folks are at the end or in the "Drop" plan. There needs to be a provision to protect it because the most you can buy back in the state plan is 5 years. Other things like seniority and rank retention are also a concern of the employees.

          These two folks (sheriff's Dept employees) spoke up to pitch the fire department but spoke in favor of keeping city golf course that was estimated to lose $100k more than it took in this next budget year.

          You figure it out!
          If 4500 people per year were killed in bank robberies or school shootings, the military would be in the streets and we would be under martial law. But we lose 4500 people per year in fires. Most people do not want their taxes to go up. So among the things that they choose is the level of fire protection that they want. They "roll the dice" figuring that they will never have a fire. They show a lack of concern for their neighbor and a short-sighted view of their own situation. The people in this country, for the most part, have chosen to accept $2.3 billion in property damage and 4500 deaths per year as an acceptable fire risk. It's pathetic that people would jeopardize their personal safety for a fe dollars in taxes.

          And don't think for a moment that those SO's don't have a bigger agenda here.
          PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

          Comment


          • #6
            The way i see it, some people think we just hang out in the station watching TV and go to the ocasional fire, occasionally go to a school, we all know this is not true, we do all that and more, we keep buildings safe for people to use dipite that some people would rather take short cuts on fire protection to save a few bucks, so we become a target of them, and of the people who think we sit around, heck our house is spic n' span, we up keep all the gear, we are mulitasking freaks . Roll the Dice is right, we get pinched and pinched, but we make it some how we are survivors, thats why we do what we do. Even with the tiny amounts we get from these grants just scratched the surface of what we need.
            "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear" - Ambrose Redmoon
            “It’s like Lego’s for firefighters.” Robert James III talking about hose appliances.
            "Police, Firefighters and EMS are the most collectively dysfunctional group of people in existence and only we understand each other!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Why is it seems to be the FD is always cut first or blamed first for just about anything!

              Comment


              • #8
                Quigger,

                Fire Departments are not really big revenue producing agencies. All Fire Departments do is SAVE live's and property. OH WAIT! In reality isn't saving life and property, producing revenue. Not according to most political entities and taxpayers. Just a passing thought.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about a member of the State police that lives in a town, serves on their Finance Comittee and recommends slashing the Fire Department overtime system....Oh yeah to work a detail

                  It kills me how "our own" are so quick to go after others to protect themselves. I have always viewed Public Safety as a unified front. I have supported our Police Department with their budget requests, and they have supported us. I don't carry a gun, so the last thing I would want is to limit the number of them out there pretecting me. (yes I live in the Town where I work too).

                  We still operate on a Town meeting style of government. If you can live thru all the idiot...er ah...concerned taxpayers that have something to say about every nickle spent, you have a unique opportunity to have a true say in what your Town does.

                  Hey Cap....drop a dime to the guys in the FD..have them call the Union that the Deputies belong to....the "Brotherhood" works in many ways.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Having cops making recommendations on fire department budget matters is like having the city garbage guys in charge of the annual parade.
                    The garbage guys don't smell anything wrong as they lead the parade with their massive garbage truck.
                    The crowd is excited until the wind direction changes. Cops don't smell it because they got all the money from Homeland Security and are wearing the latest in air conditioned, humidified, night vision personal protective escape hood and can't smell a thing.(They cost $20,000 each and the President has vowed to put one on every cop in the country.)
                    The fire department is directly behind the garbage truck laying down absorbent mats as the truck leaks down the entire parade route. In the end, all's you have is a smelly mess and no one to blame for it.
                    But at least the crowd was happy. They got to see a parade.
                    The garbage guys file a harassment complaint with their union. The fire department can't get re-imbursed for the hazmat supplies that they used and the cops are already working on grants that will get them Bradley Assault Vehicles instead of Crown Vics by this time next year. My guess is that they will get them!
                    A little off topic, Stan, but I feel your pain.
                    Take care and make every dollar count.
                    CR
                    Visit www.iacoj.com
                    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiefReason
                      Having cops making recommendations on fire department budget matters is like having the city garbage guys in charge of the annual parade.
                      The garbage guys don't smell anything wrong as they lead the parade with their massive garbage truck.
                      The crowd is excited until the wind direction changes. Cops don't smell it because they got all the money from Homeland Security and are wearing the latest in air conditioned, humidified, night vision personal protective escape hood and can't smell a thing.(They cost $20,000 each and the President has vowed to put one on every cop in the country.)
                      The fire department is directly behind the garbage truck laying down absorbent mats as the truck leaks down the entire parade route. In the end, all's you have is a smelly mess and no one to blame for it.
                      But at least the crowd was happy. They got to see a parade.
                      The garbage guys file a harassment complaint with their union. The fire department can't get re-imbursed for the hazmat supplies that they used and the cops are already working on grants that will get them Bradley Assault Vehicles instead of Crown Vics by this time next year. My guess is that they will get them!
                      A little off topic, Stan, but I feel your pain.
                      Take care and make every dollar count.
                      CR
                      Hey Chief! All cops?

                      BTW, I have said here many times before that the grant situation is the fire service's own fault. Law enforcement, for the most part, presents a united front and has a common goal in the Homeland Security realm. Also, law enforcement agents in small and large communities alike have enlisted in the counter-terrorism fight because they are on the front lines of preventing the act. In reality, the fire service will not do much more than pick up the pieces.

                      Also,the fire service has many factions which are out for their own self-interests. The fire service couldn't agree if the sky was blue or the sky was green. These are the major reasons why the feds are providing so much money to Domestic Preparedness and it's going to law enforcement.

                      George's preediction: It will never, ever change until the fire service, the WHOLE fire service decides it's time to change.
                      PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Chief! All cops?
                        George; don't be silly. You KNOW that I would never lump you in with all of law enforcement. I know a couple good ones.
                        I have always found time to agree on your assessment of the fire service's inability to get the big money. Hell, we can't even get them to agree on boundaries and mutual aid; let alone sit down and discuss NATIONAL problems. The local and regional crap will always be the focus for these guys, because it's right there in front of them. They have been fighting the same battles for thirty years and they have no intention of changing now. They don't trust the feds and won't even "soften" their position, even if large sums of money are at stake. "It's the principle of the thing"; you know?
                        So, you'll get no argument out of me where it comes to the money trough. I wish I knew the answer. It's funny; I never hear cops bitching about someone else taking a call in their district. I am sure that it happens. It's just that we don't see it.
                        Now; get over there to that other thread and slide down that plastic chute! (Oh, yes, I've been watching!)
                        CR
                        Visit www.iacoj.com
                        Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                        RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Posted by George Wendt....

                          George's preediction: It will never, ever change until the fire service, the WHOLE fire service decides it's time to change.
                          AMEN!

                          Check just about any firefighter forum... you have volunteers slamming career firefighters, career firefighters slamming volunteer firefighters, wannabees that think they know what its like in the real world, "firefighters" in the real world who have no freakin clue as to what's going on, and so on, and so forth...etc. etc. etc.

                          It's funny that at the fireground, we don't give a fat rat's rump which type of department a firefighter comes from, but as soon as the hoses are rolled and the rigs back in the barn we start ripping each other apart.

                          Perhaps is't the law enforcement culture...except for the posse's of the wild wild west circa 1800's, I don't know of any volunteer law enforcement agencies. They do present a unified front, while we bicker about following standards, allowing alcohol in the firehouse, leather vs tactical tupperware, red vs slime yellow, how many lights we have on a POV, etc.

                          Just my .03 cents worth..Captains have to pay a little more!
                          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Volunteer law enforcement is much less common, although not unheard of.

                            That's understandable in many areas. One cop on duty, or even calling-back the town's one cop, is sufficient to cover their day in day out activities. One guy can run radar or take reports when a homeowner discovers he had a burglary. It might not be optimal, but 2 or 3 can handle a domestic or most other "on-going" situations. When was the last time your town had a working structure fire? When was the last time it had a bank robbery or murder? One of those needs a lot of manpower immediately, the other a couple guys to secure the scene until specialists can arrive.

                            BTW, regarding volunteer law enforcement, one of the statistics I found a few years back that was fascinating was 1 in 7 California police officers is "Reserve" status -- either volunteer or part-time paid. Even Massachusetts as you get west of Worcester still relies heavily on part-time Town police, many towns even the Chief is part-time.

                            I wonder sometimes if the "cultural" difference is actually how we work. Cops usually work individually, or maybe in partners. But they can be thrown together in larger groups in a hurry in rare circumstances. Firefighters are used to working in companies, and you get a lot of team competetion going between those companies.

                            That's only one part of the puzzle, though.
                            IACOJ Canine Officer
                            20/50

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