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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    That is a broad generalization which isn't grounded in any form of reality that I'm familiar with.

    Here are some examples from my department of where people or safety measures were cut and firemen and civilians died.
    • Materials and R&D cut: Firemen Fitzpatrick & Frisby fall to their deaths using a faulty rope.
    • Engine Company 294 in Richmond Hill, Queens closed in 1991 and Brothers Walter& Ihor Stecyk perished due to a delay caused by the absence of E294.
    • Same year 1991, Earlier we lost the 5th man in the Engines in a rigged arbitration-negotiations and Fireman Kevin Kane of Ladder 110 dies when E236was unable to stretch their hose line to protect him due to not having a door man.
    • 2005 Chief Hayden after rigging the medical leave stats and taking advantage of the numerous sick men we had laid up because of 9-11 ailments cuts staffing to 4 men on almost all Engines. Fire on top floor of Crown Heights Tenement (classic example of the Chief Dunn-Hart Study). Took 10 lengths to reach the fire....and it killed 4 people of eight living in the apartment...2 of them were children.
    • Weeks later a decision to not replace or improve our safety ropes years eariler finaly took its toll and 6 firemen had to jump from upper floor windows and two of them died as a result of having no other viable option.

    These are just but a few of the relevant examples from my city that I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure others have similar experiences and can offer their examples. I'm sure the Chief who you characterize as throwing a tantrum considered the reality of placing peoples lives in danger and refused to take responsiblitiy for what he perhaps felt was a reckless act.

    This isn't crying wolf...this is the real world...where lives hang in the ballance and true to form your lack of maturity and intelligence evident by your dismissive attitude of these events obscures the serious nature of these decisions that are being undertaken across this country at the expense of everyones well being and safety.

    FTM-PTB
    NYC is a special case, as are all big departments. But look around, I'm sure you can find areas where you can save some money and cut costs. Every agency within any government has to have those big bloated budgets. How many times have you seen an end of year spending frenzy? We need to spend this money because after October 1 it will be gone, and if we don't spend it it will be harder to get the same or bigger budget next year.


  2. #22
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    My hat is off to the Chief for making a stand for what he thought was right. We don't have all the details, and only one side of the story, but standing up for what you believe in is something many are not willing to do.

    Unfortunately another issue popped up. The reality that if you don't do what your boss tells you to do, he can fire you.

    I think it's interesting that the article made mention of what the Chief being dismissed will save the city in dollars, but not a word about what it may cost in terms of losing their fire dept leader.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    What about those who already have, or those who will take more than that?

    Which side are you on, again?
    Actually, I am on neither side. I don't have an iron in this particular fire - just opinions.

    Again, if the staff will take the 3-5% cut in pay to eat the budget shortfall, then more power to them. They will then hold to their principles and I will have great respect for their character. I believe the chief would have done it. Overall though, I don't see that happening.

    As for those who cry foul about it being the FD - what exactly makes it immune to the economic forces around? How many private sector employees are losing their jobs (and tax revenues with it)? Just what is the tax base you have to draw from to pay for it? Do you want to raise taxes for people who are currently struggling? People outside the fire service simply don't care and frankly want to keep more of thier hard earned money, especially in tough economic times.

    I think it is reasonable to have to cut budgets when tax revenues are down. It takes a good administrator to figure out how to do it without significantly impact but it can be done.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    NYC is a special case, as are all big departments. But look around, I'm sure you can find areas where you can save some money and cut costs. Every agency within any government has to have those big bloated budgets. How many times have you seen an end of year spending frenzy? We need to spend this money because after October 1 it will be gone, and if we don't spend it it will be harder to get the same or bigger budget next year.

    Big cities aren't special cases, there's just a lot more opportunities to roll the dice in a big city than there is in a small town. All of those things can happen in a small town, well maybe not the exact high rise incidents, but cut staffing can and eventually will kill someone, might be a dept with 1000s on a shift, one with 100s, or one with 1 guy on a shift.


    -also-

    assuming the entire payroll is suppression, 3 groups gives you 22.3 FFs per shift, rounded up to 23; 4 groups gives you 16.7 or 17 FFs per shift to be conservative.
    3 shifts = 1 FF per 1173 people
    4 shifts = 1 FF per 1588 people

    I'm not sure how this compares to other cities, but that is everyone riding the rigs and everyone present
    Last edited by nameless; 07-08-2009 at 09:42 PM.

  5. #25
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    FYI: Shaker Heights is an urban city on the east side of Cleveland proper. They do fire/ems transports. Kind of a mixed bag of demographics and incomes in the city. Many 4-plex and brownstones with older commercial districts in the area. Instresting mix of clients they serve, low incomes to high, even ukltra-expensive and very exclusive country clubs.

    As for the choice of this Chief, good job for having a pair. This is what the guy is there to do.... protect the citizens the best way possible. I hope others can look to him and realize not succumb to pressure of city hall.

    Also part of his motovation may have had to do with his time on the job and the lack of pension for the subordinates if they were laid off.

    IMO: all career chiefs should be prepared to retire when they take the job of chief. that way the atleast have a tiny bit of leverage if push comes to shove. (once had a chief that was not eligible for pension and became a bit of a push over to the city hall dwellers)
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    How unfortunate. This chief clearly thought his service was the only one that mattered and the needs of the taxpayers and the city mean nothing.
    Well, I could easily argue that he was clearly considering "the needs of the taxpayers and city". When a fire or other emergency occurs, the citizens need a FD that is capable of providing the needed services in a timely, effective manner. To an extent, the city also needs this because property lost to fire can result in lost revenue.

    It would be nice if we could all have optimum staffing, but that just isn't real. It does sound like they are overstaffed though, 61 fire fighters is a lot. Local city here has about the same population and they have around 30 people on the payroll.
    Like others have already stated, just comparing population and staffing doesn't consider the whole picture. However, here's something to consider......


    Maybe that local city you refer to is actually grossly understaffed? That's something people seem to forget to consider (or ignore) when looking to make comparisons.

    Does that local city you refer to provide transport EMS? Shaker Heights does from the info I've found.

    Let's do some math........

    2 stations = 2 engine companies.
    2 engine companies using NFPA 1710 recommended staffing figures = 8 FFs
    1 truck company using NFPA 1710 recommended staffing figures = 4 FFs
    2 ambulances = 4 FFs
    1 shift commander (i.e. BC) = 1 FF
    This equals of minimum of 17 FFs per shift.
    Multiply this by 3 shifts = 51 FFs
    Multiply this by 4 shifts = 68 FFs

    We still haven't considered the additional FFs needed to cover vacations, sick time, injury time, etc. in order to avoid filling with OT or admin Chiefs or the possibility of personnel assigned to fire inspections, investigations or prevention.

  7. #27
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Bingo! We have a WINNAH! T.C.

  8. #28
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    Posted by Strawbrains
    Comes a time when the public says enough is enough. Stop overtaxing me. Government has gotten to big. You can either work with he system and try to help the taxpayer or not.
    Would this be the same taxpayer who when times were booming called city employees fools for working for "chump change" and now scream that we get paid too much?

    Would this be the same taxpayer who thinks we have too many firefighters, yet will scream to the media that the Fire Department didn't send enough rigs and personnel to try and save their property?

    Would this be the same taxpayer who posts in local blogs slamming the FD at each and every turn, yet demands the same level of service when budgets are cut and they need the FD?

    You are not a realist.. you are mindless twit.
    ‎"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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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFNG View Post
    As for those who cry foul about it being the FD - what exactly makes it immune to the economic forces around?
    The primary function of a city is to provide for the health and safety of its citizens. Everything else is gravy. To do that, you need firefighters at the station, cops in patrol cars, people to pick up trash and some folks to make sure clean water flows in & sewage flows out. You do those functions and, for the most part, people stay safe and healthy.

    So, should city departments that provide for public safety & health be completely immune from budget cuts? Of course not. But the problem with cutting the fire department budget, for instance, is that the large majority of its expense is personnel. It's hard to get significant savings in the fire department without laying off people. And in my book, if you're laying off firefighters or police officers... You better have laid off a whole bunch of employees providing non-essential services first.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Posted by Strawbrains

    Quote:
    Comes a time when the public says enough is enough. Stop overtaxing me. Government has gotten to big. You can either work with he system and try to help the taxpayer or not.
    Would this be the same taxpayer who when times were booming called city employees fools for working for "chump change" and now scream that we get paid too much?

    Would this be the same taxpayer who thinks we have too many firefighters, yet will scream to the media that the Fire Department didn't send enough rigs and personnel to try and save their property?

    Would this be the same taxpayer who posts in local blogs slamming the FD at each and every turn, yet demands the same level of service when budgets are cut and they need the FD?

    You are not a realist.. you are mindless twit.
    BEAUTIFUL, absolutely beautiful post. Game, set, match.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    The primary function of a city is to provide for the health and safety of its citizens. Everything else is gravy. To do that, you need firefighters at the station, cops in patrol cars, people to pick up trash and some folks to make sure clean water flows in & sewage flows out. You do those functions and, for the most part, people stay safe and healthy.

    So, should city departments that provide for public safety & health be completely immune from budget cuts? Of course not. But the problem with cutting the fire department budget, for instance, is that the large majority of its expense is personnel. It's hard to get significant savings in the fire department without laying off people. And in my book, if you're laying off firefighters or police officers... You better have laid off a whole bunch of employees providing non-essential services first.
    If this tact, you have to be careful. Just because a line item looks like fluff does not mean it doesn't have essential functions. Think of a tourist town. To get the tourist income, you have to provide certain amenities. You may get far more return on investment to where the 'fluff' item subsidizes other areas of the budget.

    You also have to look at overall impact on the citizens. Having proper sanitation/sewer is more important for most of the residents. A breakdown in water/sanitation will get a lot more people sick/injured.

    As I said, it takes a competent administrator to understand the revenue flows and budget to make these cuts. Sometimes the 'sacred' line items do have to be cut as they would have the least impact on the residents/taxpayers.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFNG View Post
    If this tact, you have to be careful. Just because a line item looks like fluff does not mean it doesn't have essential functions. Think of a tourist town. To get the tourist income, you have to provide certain amenities. You may get far more return on investment to where the 'fluff' item subsidizes other areas of the budget.

    You also have to look at overall impact on the citizens. Having proper sanitation/sewer is more important for most of the residents. A breakdown in water/sanitation will get a lot more people sick/injured.

    As I said, it takes a competent administrator to understand the revenue flows and budget to make these cuts. Sometimes the 'sacred' line items do have to be cut as they would have the least impact on the residents/taxpayers.

    How many tourists will come if crime is rampant, the businesses, hotels and attarcions are closed or destryoed due to fire, or if the community that depends on tourism has to cut back on EMS response?

    The fact is... a lot of elected officals are nothing more than bean counters, thinking with their wallets instead of their heads. They try to make themselves look good to the taxpayer by showing that they are saving them money... meanwhile, when the defacation hits the oscillation, the "savings" are quickly negated and the costs of repairs/replacement of both image and real property far exceeds the amount of money "saved".
    ‎"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

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    How many tourists will come if crime is rampant, the businesses, hotels and attarcions are closed or destryoed due to fire
    what do you mean, cleveland and detroit's hotels are full and bursting over with tourist?
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  14. #34
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    I'm of two minds over this situation. I admire the Chief for standing up for his principals and refusing to lead a dept that he felt was not safe due to manning levels. On the other hand, since he sounds like a true leader, he will be leaving his men as well as the city at a very difficult time. This will be a time when a true leader is most needed.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Posted by Strawbrains


    Would this be the same taxpayer who when times were booming called city employees fools for working for "chump change" and now scream that we get paid too much?
    Never said that. I've always said many government employees are overpaid. And the ones that work are fairly compensated.

    Would this be the same taxpayer who thinks we have too many firefighters, yet will scream to the media that the Fire Department didn't send enough rigs and personnel to try and save their property?
    Taxpayers don't single out fire fighters

    Would this be the same taxpayer who posts in local blogs slamming the FD at each and every turn, yet demands the same level of service when budgets are cut and they need the FD?

    You are not a realist.. you are mindless twit.
    Here is some reality for you. They are looking for 3.5 million form the entire city budget. They asked for a measly 250,000 from the fire department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    How many tourists will come if crime is rampant, the businesses, hotels and attarcions are closed or destryoed due to fire, or if the community that depends on tourism has to cut back on EMS response?

    The fact is... a lot of elected officals are nothing more than bean counters, thinking with their wallets instead of their heads. They try to make themselves look good to the taxpayer by showing that they are saving them money... meanwhile, when the defacation hits the oscillation, the "savings" are quickly negated and the costs of repairs/replacement of both image and real property far exceeds the amount of money "saved".
    Are you out of your F(*^*ing mind. Oh wait. To be out of your mind you would first have to have a mind. A 3% cut in a budget will not cause the town to burn down. Put down the whiskey bottle and get into rehab soon.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Taxpayers don't single out fire fighters.
    I don't know what kind of fantasyland you live/work in, but I (and others) have encountered these types of taxpayers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    They are looking for 3.5 million form the entire city budget. They asked for a measly 250,000 from the fire department.
    If it's not that big of a deal, then why don't you write them a check for the shortfall.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    To be out of your mind you would first have to have a mind.
    Pun intended, we have a "scarecrow" accusing someone else of not having a brain.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    How many tourists will come if crime is rampant, the businesses, hotels and attarcions are closed or destryoed due to fire, or if the community that depends on tourism has to cut back on EMS response?

    The fact is... a lot of elected officals are nothing more than bean counters, thinking with their wallets instead of their heads. They try to make themselves look good to the taxpayer by showing that they are saving them money... meanwhile, when the defacation hits the oscillation, the "savings" are quickly negated and the costs of repairs/replacement of both image and real property far exceeds the amount of money "saved".
    To be fair, strictly on statistics, fire supression is a rarely needed item. EMS and crime are more likely to be seen.

    Again, I hear talk of trying to save money but not the talk of allocating the money that exists. The pot of money to spread around is smaller. That means, at least some areas will have to get less. Not rocket science, simple math. You either make cuts or raise taxes to raise the revenue pool. (ecomonic development also raises the revenue pool in a far more effective way BTW)

    Given the finite pool of money that is less than last year, you ask what can you cut with the least impact to most of the citizens. You also ask what items on the budget are revenue neutral or revenue positive vs those that are revenue negative. If you cut the things that make you money, you have even less next year. You need to target the area's that are a drain on the revenue flow. Case example - subsidized public beaches. They are a drain on the budget many might see as fluff and generate no direct revenue. The tourists that come though support a wealth of buisnesses and leave wads of cash in town. Make the beaches less appatizing, the tourists go somewhere else and their money and the buisnesses go with them.

    A good and skilled administrator can identify areas to absorb the cuts. The trick is to get buy in from the taxpayers. My personal first choice would be the schools. That likely wouldn't happen because 'Won't someone think of the children!" mentality. The fact is, the fire department has the least impact on the most residents. Its the least visible and if its service level goes down, most residents won't be signfiicantly impacted (if they notice even). The few who need the fire department will care but again, that the minority. How many other agencies/departments fit that bill?

    I am not saying you have to like it - just understand it.

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    Let's put it this way. Every time there is a proposed cut you hear the same thing. It will create unsafe conditions and cost lives. Problem is when the cuts happen and those things don't happen. Eventually, you do get to a point where it will create unsafe and poor conditions. However, you have already cried wolf every time so the warning gets ignored.

    Remember - "You can't always get what you want, but if you try somehow you get what you need."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrnkB8 View Post
    I don't know what kind of fantasyland you live/work in, but I (and others) have encountered these types of taxpayers.



    If it's not that big of a deal, then why don't you write them a check for the shortfall.



    Pun intended, we have a "scarecrow" accusing someone else of not having a brain.
    And if you had a brain you would know that the Scarecrow is the one who does all the thinking.

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