1. #1
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    Default Florida City Not Allowed To Get Food?

    LEESBURG, Fla. -- City officials debated this week whether firefighters returning from emergency calls should stop off at local eateries to pick up meals for themselves.

    In a 3-2 decision, commissioners reverted to a former city policy, effectively allowing firefighters to use the department's ladder trucks to stop for food during their shifts.

    Late last year, City Manager Jay Evans changed the internal policy so that members of the department had to return the large trucks between calls and use a smaller vehicle to get food. Firefighters were not happy with his policy change and asked commissioners to allow them to use trucks to make food runs.

    Commissioners, however, voiced a range of opinions about the policy.

    Mayor Lewis Puckett, who voted against Monday's measure, said he receives phone calls on a regular basis from residents complaining about the inconvenience of the trucks parked at local eateries. Some frustrated residents found their cars blocked in by the large trucks, he said.

    "I get at least two calls a week about the firefighters," he said. "I'm getting tired of hearing about it."

    Fire Chief Dennis Sargent told commissioners it was cheaper for the city to allow the firefighters to use the trucks on their way back from a call than to use smaller vehicles. Some firefighters attending the meeting pleaded with commissioners to allow them to use the trucks to travel for food. They cited their long shifts and the large amount of food they usually consume during their shifts.

    But Commissioner Bill Polk, who also cast a dissenting vote, was not convinced.

    "That's ridiculous to drive a ladder truck from the fire station to Publix," he said. "What happened to people wherever they work they bring their lunch to work?"

    The department should use the trucks when appropriate -- that is, for emergency calls -- because of the expensive repair costs, Polk said.

    "Those firetrucks require a lot of maintenance," he said.

    Other commissioners, though, defended the department's ability to use the trucks to get food. Although it's important to be financially conservative, the firefighters should be allowed to use the trucks to travel for meals between calls, Commissioner John Christian said.

    "This is a perk that they've had," he said. "The last thing I want to do is hurt the morale with the firefighters."

    By driving the trucks to local eateries after a call, the firefighters are getting hands-on practice driving, Commissioner David Knowles said.

    "I think it's prudent . . . for you to get practical experience driving in non-emergency situations so when the emergency situations do arrive, you can get there quickly," Knowles said.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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    just out of spite they should park it in front of city hall :P

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    I am glad I do not work in a small city where town commissioners even have to entertain such trivial BS.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    The department should use the trucks when appropriate -- that is, for emergency calls -- because of the expensive repair costs, Polk said.

    "Those firetrucks require a lot of maintenance," he said.



    I think the comissioners should be more worried about the quality of their fleet of apparatus.

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    The article doesn't indicate a discussion took place about the delay in responding that would occur if they went grocery shopping in vehicles other than their assigned apparatus and an alarm came in while at the store.
    Mark

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    The "commissioners" also forget that the Brothers in Florida work 24 hour shifts. They also do not get a traditional meal break like the 9 to 5 world.

    I have no problem with using apparatus to get food. Pick up the food while returning from a call or doing inspections. Make it "driver training" or "district familiarization" if the small minds want to complain.

    PS: I am willing to bet that the "citizens who complain" are probably parked in the fire lane and are told to move!
    ‎"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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    What about all the good public relations for the department when the kids stop at the truck or perhaps the crew can actually respond if an alarm is received. Some people will never get it! Gonzo - your PS statement is so true!
    Last edited by THTMAN; 01-31-2009 at 01:32 AM.

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    A certain large (40+ stations), Texas department that I may or may not work for, actually used to not allow any apparatus to go to the store during the shift (other than actual calls). It was supposedly to save fuel. But there was more to it of course. But they finally decided that was silly so now "they" have to call the BC for approval to go to the store. And if the BC is acting, then the shift commander must be called for approval. How is it that "they" can literally make life saving decisions, but aren't smart enough to decide if it is ok to go to the store. I understand that you need to make sure other companies are not out training, etc, but this is ridiculous. And every firefighter knows that this is sometimes the most public contact you will make other than calls.

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    Lenexa, Kansas used to be like this. Once you were in quarters for duty you could not leave the station unless it was on a call. You couldn't go to the store, you couldn't go out to your car to get a pillow, you couldn't sit on the bumpers of the truck with the doors open, you couldn't answer the phone before or after your shift even 1 minute before 8am because that would constitute working over time. All of these were punishable by being written up. Things have changed since a new chief started who has less military background.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOFIRE View Post
    Lenexa, Kansas used to be like this. Once you were in quarters for duty you could not leave the station unless it was on a call. You couldn't go to the store, you couldn't go out to your car to get a pillow, you couldn't sit on the bumpers of the truck with the doors open, you couldn't answer the phone before or after your shift even 1 minute before 8am because that would constitute working over time. All of these were punishable by being written up. Things have changed since a new chief started who has less military background.
    I'm sure those policies had little, if anything, to do with the former chief's military background.
    Mark

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    Our city has gone back and forth on this issue. The reason listed for not allowing the apparatus to pick up food is perception. Honestly, the public doesn't know you're returning for a run, and this often leads to complaints that they see their tax dollars being wasted as large firetrucks are used to run errands when they burn more fuel and cost more to maintain over their lives.

    On the side of allowing the food stops/runs. We leave an operator there who is supposed to actively engage kids and adults alike as they pass while the guys are inside. The attempt is to use these times as a public service event. Kids love seeing the trucks, adults ask what your doing and it give a chance to explain,"we're shopping for our meals on our way back from a run, since we work 24 hour shifts and we are never sure when we'll free to pick up groceries later".

    The issue was "hotter" when the price of fuel was double what it is today. At $4.00/gal. for gas all food runs were suspended. The prices dropped and we went back to shopping post run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOFIRE View Post
    you couldn't sit on the bumpers of the truck with the doors open,
    Similar issue here with that. Again, it was about public perception. FDNY , Chicago or LA hardly have a public perception that the firefighters don't have enough to do. But in a small FD where the sirens don't run all day, and there is not much in the way of TV news reporters or much news coverage at all, the public often doesn't know how busy you might be, and seeing guys "lounging about the floor" while their on their way home from work that helps them pay their taxes for our salaries doesn't help. It's about how you're perceived in your community.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOFIRE View Post
    you couldn't answer the phone before or after your shift even 1 minute before 8am because that would constitute working over time.
    Sounds exactly like what was explained to us in a recent municipal personnel law seminar. Common sense and realistic rules evidentially have no place in labor laws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    The "commissioners" also forget that the Brothers in Florida work 24 hour shifts. They also do not get a traditional meal break like the 9 to 5 world.

    I have no problem with using apparatus to get food. Pick up the food while returning from a call or doing inspections. Make it "driver training" or "district familiarization" if the small minds want to complain.

    PS: I am willing to bet that the "citizens who complain" are probably parked in the fire lane and are told to move!
    What he said!!


    Also, they are ready to take the next call instead of delaying response to go get it.
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    Its funny how TPTB have problems with the FD taking a truck to get groceries, but they have no problem sending us all over god's creation on some stupid task.


    If you are in your first-in district I don't understand the problem. If citizen's ask about it, just explain to them thats why we have our radios on because right now when we are buying the groceries, later when we are cooking them, and even while we are eating them, we have to listen for a call because if we get one we have to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Truck View Post
    I'm sure those policies had little, if anything, to do with the former chief's military background.
    No, they didn't.
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    Why can't they just plan ahead and bring food with them in the morning? Good god, it's not a big deal. I work 12 hour shifts on the weekend, I am the only one on duty, I am stuck in that building for 12 straight hours. If there are security events I don't get to eat either. I eat when the job allows me too, not when I want to. How about finding something real to complain about?

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    Yes, it's only based on what the article printed.....

    but it's awfully sad that none of the commissioners that voted in favor...had a clue as to why it was the right thing to do.

    "This is a perk that they've had," he said. "The last thing I want to do is hurt the morale with the firefighters."
    A perk? Idiot.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    You know when I saw the article on the FH home page I thought this must surely be about my dept. Apparently I was wrong. Last Nov. our city sent out a letter to our union pres saying that "in these economic times using emergency apparatus to go get food for meals is an inexcusable practice and will be stopped immediately". At the end of the memo the city also stated "this matter can be brought up during contract negotiation and a reasonable compromise may be negotiated". This was done as retaliation for us handing out fliers to residents about the reduction of manning the city wanted which happened to be during contract negotiations.

    Of course we still had to do all kinds of BS running around, like going to the main station to check the mail each shift, using the ladder truck so the Mayor could drop golf balls from 100' at his golf tournament, etc. Now shopping on your day off for the next shifts meals is easy and we all took turns doing it ,but people call out sick or people get moved around during the shift with no prior notice and a whole list of other crap. That made eating meals together nearly impossible. Fortunately the city reversed the policy(just before it went to arbitration which they were told by the city attorney they would lose) but this is the crap we have to put up with daily. Oh yeah, but it was fine for all of admin to take their own city vehicles, all five of them, to the same place for lunch instead of piling into 1 car. Talk about a waste of fuel.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    What a bunch of asses in that city, I say let the city burn if the damn people dont wanna support the FD
    Firefighter for Vestal 32-2

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    What if the rig had stopped to get chow and was closer to the call when the tones dropped than they would be if they stayed home?
    Though my vollie department would go POV for chow runs on training nights,we've been out on school visits and had calls where the address was literally across the street.

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    Angry Great attitude for someone who serves the public

    Quote Originally Posted by dave29 View Post
    What a bunch of asses in that city, I say let the city burn if the damn people dont wanna support the FD
    Yeah, that's it! Thank god we have reasonable people like you out there to force the public into liking us. As soon as you hit puberty come back and review your post and see how stupid you were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Why can't they just plan ahead and bring food with them in the morning? Good god, it's not a big deal.
    In a department with multiple stations, people call in sick or they are detailed out to other stations. Around here, there are dedicated floaters in some departments that never know where they are going to work until they report to duty. Planning meals ahead could be difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I work 12 hour shifts on the weekend.
    Most fire companies work 24 hour shifts -- all three meals occur while on duty. I work 12-hour shifts on the ambulance every now and then. There is no comparison to a 24-hour shift.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    If there are security events I don't get to eat either. I eat when the job allows me too, not when I want to.
    Career firefighters don't get to eat when there are calls. They eat when the job allows them to eat, not when they want to. And?

    This isn't a discussion about taking the apparatus exclusively to go shopping. This was a discussion about not even letting the company stop for supplies while they were already out on a run. You can use silly excuses like fuel cost and fleet maintenance, but this wasn't about either of those... This was a poke in the eye to their employees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Why can't they just plan ahead and bring food with them in the morning? Good god, it's not a big deal. I work 12 hour shifts on the weekend, I am the only one on duty, I am stuck in that building for 12 straight hours. If there are security events I don't get to eat either. I eat when the job allows me too, not when I want to. How about finding something real to complain about?
    God youre dumb.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    We don't wait for runs to go shopping.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    I just heard a young woman at the supermarket say "MAN! those firemen are very hungry people! thier here everyday!"

    but back to something relevent. This is probably a stunt pulled by some lawyer who had an angry client because he was late when he was "delayed for something wayyy more important" by an emergency vehicle.

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