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Thread: No Gas...No Go?

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    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
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    Unhappy No Gas...No Go?

    I find this rather 'fitting' to the times we are living in today, and I am pretty sure this will be a major factor with many volunteer departments as time goes on, with a serious effect on the communities they protect.

    With gas prices close to $4 a gallon, you can imagine how much volunteer firefighters spend, often driving pickups with poor gas mileage to the fire station, sometimes several times a day, and doing it all volunteer.

    Lt. Fred Osbourn has been a volunteer firefighter for 17 years, the past four with Strafford. Years ago, things were different. "Oh, I didn't think about the gas money then," said Osbourn.

    Now the question on volunteer firefighters' minds, and probably many area residents is, "what's going to happen if our volunteers don't have enough money to fill their tank so they can run their calls?" .
    http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...ponse/46$60130
    "we will bankrupt ourselves in the vain attempt at absolute security"
    Pres. / General Dwight D. Eisenhower


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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    If the departments run enough calls that its members are spending significant money on gas getting to the station then they will have to adjust their operations. There are couple things they could do.. Stipends/allowances, in-station duty crews..etc. At a minimum they should show their members how to deduct gas and other FD expenses off their income tax.
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    Tell me why it costs so much to live
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    I agree with voyager. If you're making that many trips to the firehouse a day, maybe you need to rethink your operations. When I lived a 1/2 mile from the station, it was nothing to run back and forth several times a day, even with high gas prices. Now that I live 10 miles from my new station, i go to the station and respond as needed. I only respond from home for a major incident and then only expect to standby in case of another call. I don't expect to make a piece if responding from home.

    Even with a 20 mile round trip, the gas prices haven't affected by turnout. The time it takes to get there and back determines my response.

  4. #4
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Ease Pain at Pump for Volunteer Firefighters:

    This is not refering to the personal vehicles of vols, however it has the same theme...No Gas...No Go!
    MARI A. SCHAEFER
    The Philadelphia Inquirer - Posted: 07-09-2008

    The escalating cost of filling a 150-gallon tank on a fire truck - which gets about three miles per gallon - is stretching the already tight budgets of volunteer fire companies.

    To cope, they are delaying equipment purchases, reducing office- and cleaning-supply budgets, turning off the stations' air-conditioning units and room lights, and pulling out of parades.

    "We just have to cut back on everything else," said firefighter Andrew Bannon, 19, of the Reliance Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 in Upper Chichester.

    In the last year, gas prices at consumer pumps increased an average of $1.13 per gallon to $4.11 nationwide, with diesel increasing $1.87 per gallon to $4.72, according to the federal Office of Energy Statistics.
    I wonder how long it WILL take for the major, metro areas paid depts. to feel this same crunch...then do something constructive about it?
    "we will bankrupt ourselves in the vain attempt at absolute security"
    Pres. / General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    For the Volly guys only, how about contacting where you get your gas or diesel from, and ask for a price break. Let them know, that if you can't make the run, that it could be thier house that burns down. (yeah, bad analogy, but hey)

    My dad lives in a Volly city, and all (5) stations give a price break to one registered vehicle, for so many gallons a month.

    So far, there has been no delay in response times, everybody seems to be happy about it.

    FM1

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Volunteer firefighters should keep track of their mileage and deduct it from their taxes. They would have to file a full tax return in order to itemize deductions.

    For volunteer departments: If they are not tax supported, they should probably bill a fuel charge to the insurance companies. Look at it this way... they are saving the insurance companies money by saving structures.
    ‎"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."
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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    For the Volly guys only, how about contacting where you get your gas or diesel from, and ask for a price break. Let them know, that if you can't make the run, that it could be thier house that burns down. (yeah, bad analogy, but hey)
    The gas stations don't make any profit on fuel as it is. There is really nothing for them to discount. Any discount would be a loss, not a reduced profit. I would never expect or ask a station owner to do that. It is hard enough as it is to manage one of those buisnesses when you are selling a product for mere cents over cost.


    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Volunteer firefighters should keep track of their mileage and deduct it from their taxes. They would have to file a full tax return in order to itemize deductions..
    This only does any good if you have enough itemized deductions to count in the first place. I know I for example don't ever have enough deductions to matter.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    What about the cost of heating the fire hall? We got our contract for propane this week at $2.07/gallon. The department pays the fuel bills for the trucks and heating. The city pays the electricity and insurance. We share township funds with a couple other departments, which only leaves us about $1,200.00 per year for expenses. We do a lot of fundraising activities (thankfully our members are ambitious), but doing fundraising to pay the utilities is getting old. Kind of defeats the purpose. We cover about 48 square miles in southwest Iowa, with a population of about 650. I'd like to hear from other similar departments about how they are coping with these issues.

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