1. #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.

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    Bingo! We have a WINNAH! T.C.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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    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?...
    Living in a tourist town for 40 years. Not one of them has EVER asked about EMS and/or FD response....until it was needed by them. And then, they never cared about it's cost, just that it was there.

    They care much more about what the area looks like, is it clean, is their nice landscaping, etc.


    Tourists do not decide to visit a destination based on EMS and/or FD.


    Think about it, in your travels to the islands....was the FD/EMS response what made you go/not go there?
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Living in a tourist town for 40 years. Not one of them has EVER asked about EMS and/or FD response....until it was needed by them. And then, they never cared about it's cost, just that it was there.

    They care much more about what the area looks like, is it clean, is their nice landscaping, etc.


    Tourists do not decide to visit a destination based on EMS and/or FD.


    Think about it, in your travels to the islands....was the FD/EMS response what made you go/not go there?
    Everyone is lumping Fire and EMS together and leaving out PD. They all play an inter-related role IMHO.

    There is a reason NYC was in the sh*tter for the better part of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. It was largely because of poor city services that created conditions that kept tourists from wanting to visit. (there were other inital poltical decisions and movements that played into white flight...etc. but the aftermath was dragged on by lack of investment in city services.)

    The Ghettos were so bad that they were a vacuum that drew so much of the PD, Fire and EMS services that the "nice" parts of town also fell victim to crime and sh*t conditions.

    While people don't decide on where to visit based on the municipal services, they do based on the conditions that are a result of those services.

    If someone visits a place and they get mugged, they call for an ambulance and it takes 30 mintues, they see piles and piles of uncollected garbage and there are burnt out shells of buildings all around and the FD is stretched to the limit, I'm sure they will tell all their friends to forgo a vist to this forsaken dump.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 07-10-2009 at 11:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    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.
    I guess we're lucky. As long ago as 2003, we said that the fire department in my small town needed two engine companies of three firefighters each to protect the city. At the time, we weren't even a real fire department -- just a division of a Dept. of Public Safety. Today, we're a fire department and running two companies -- but with a minimum of two on each rig. It's progress. And we're getting to our goal.

    However, money got a little tight in the budget last month. The response was to brown out an engine company. Our Local protested the move and cited the dangerous condition that would exist -- only one engine company in a town of 16,000 with uncertain volunteer response and delayed mutual aid. After some back and forth, the mayor and fire chief sat down with our president. They realized the goof and moved money around to continue staffing two companies. City leaders have since expressed support for expanding our minimum staffing to three per company.

    A MERE THREE DAYS after this resolution was reached and the second company was restored, we had an apartment fire with multiple patients at the same time one of the companies was on a medical run at the opposite end of the city. When we protested the closures, it wasn't because we were grandstanding or trying to get money for ourselves. It was because as professionals, we deemed it a risk to ourselves and to the people.

    We were right. Had the second company not been available to respond and get a quick knock-down on the fire, the result would have been dramatically different. The lives of the people in the 15 attached apartments would have been at increased risk. The lives of the lay people who had attempted to the put the fire out might have been at grave risk. For certain, the property loss would have been greater. These aren't hypotheticals. This is the real deal -- not in some big city like NYC, but in small town Pleasantville, America.

    Fortunately, I think the leaders of our city realize that our intentions were sincere then and in every other instance we've brought a safety related problem to light. We're honest and they believe us. That's a relationship I hope we can maintain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    This is the real deal -- not in some big city like NYC, but in small town Pleasantville, America.
    Isn't Pleasantville just north of NYC on the Sawmill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    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."
    It's really not a "cry wolf" situation. The "wolf" is there, unfortunately too many don't recognize it.

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    Everyone is lumping Fire and EMS together and leaving out PD. They all play an inter-related role IMHO.
    True FFFred. I left out PD because unlike my Fire and EMS, the PD generates funds. The fines and fees they generate pay a very large part of their expenses. My Fire and EMS generate $0, we are simply an expense.

    If PD staffing is cut, there are less LEO's available to "generate" those fines/fees. It gives the PD "a leg up" when budget cuts come up for discussion.

    If FD/EMS is cut, there is $0 change in revenues, but expenses (for the Town) go down. And yes, if things started getting burned to the ground and people weren't receiving aid, SOME folks would complain. But the majority of the people won't....until it's THEM that has the emergency.

    And yes, I know my little burg is far from a big city.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    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.
    A couple of facts, Strawbrains...

    Fact #1: Unlike you.. I do have a mind. I didn't get to the rank of Deputy Chief by being an inspid moron like you.

    Fact #2: Beerboy... heed your own advice.
    ‎"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

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    I'll say this much, these kinds of cuts are not unique to the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Hts. East side and West side, both are hurting. Parma is cutting the number of FF's on duty and Cleveland itself hasn't had a test for FF since 1998, and I don't see one in the immediate future.

    That's exactly why I moved to Texas once I got a job offer with a great city. Northeast Ohio, despite having some great people, has a terrible economy that probably won't be changing soon.

    If you want to work in FF or EMS in NE Ohio, you're in for a long wait, typically. That's a crummy situation.

    Pete

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