1. #1
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    Default Jersey City guts arson unit

    Early in December, it was my great honor to attend the Jersey City FD Valor Awards and to present the JCFD Arson Unit with the IAAI Outstanding Accomplishment Award for their actions in the arrest and prosecution of an arsonist who set a fatal fire in their city. It was humbling to be in the presence of these brave men. I can also say without hesitation that this fire department, particularly their Arson Unit is the premeire FD in the State of NJ.

    Recently, the city rewarded the actions of the JCFD, in particular the Arson Unit. Here is a paragraph from the article.

    Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy released a statement saying the budget is far from final, but also said several cuts have already been made.

    "We are looking at a reduction in staff and have already reduced our fire department from 26 companies to 22 companies," Healy said.

    Healy's spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said no firefighters were axed. But the 13-member arson unit was cut to two. Firefighters from that unit and the closed companies will reduce overtime at other firehouses, she said
    These words made me physically ill. Here's the whole article.

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2...th_40_mil.html

    It doesn't appear that there is anything that can be done, except to add JCFD to the casualty list.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    What a ridiculously stupid move. The economic conditions currently suck pond water. Crime will rise, arson will increase, and now they will have fewer resources to investigate.

    About as intelligent as our governors (now reversed) decision to eliminate state funding for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to help with evidence collection in rapes.

    God-willing this guy will correct this lapse in good judgement.
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    Well, here we go again. State governments, city governments, are all facing huge budget shortfalls, some as high as 40%. How about offering up better solutions for making cuts.

    Seem that many here are pretty good at identifying the problem, now if they would offer solutions to the problem we would have a complete statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Well, here we go again. State governments, city governments, are all facing huge budget shortfalls, some as high as 40%. How about offering up better solutions for making cuts.

    Seem that many here are pretty good at identifying the problem, now if they would offer solutions to the problem we would have a complete statement.
    Maybe you need to have your job, whatever it may be, eliminated and have to hunt for food and another job!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    Maybe you need to have your job, whatever it may be, eliminated and have to hunt for food and another job!
    Been there and done that. So what is your solution. You have a 40% loss in revenue. What do you do???

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    So far there hasn't been a decision as to which companies will be cut. Will they be the same ones or rotate. Also, this might be temporary but there would have to be about 50 new hires to fill all spots. Whatever happens we will make the best of it and will do our jobs. A concern is the administration might feel they can get by like that and the closures will be permanent like the ones below.
    Last edited by len1582; 08-06-2010 at 03:25 PM.

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    Scarecrow ..

    It's a discussion that will get you nowhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Well, here we go again. State governments, city governments, are all facing huge budget shortfalls, some as high as 40%. How about offering up better solutions for making cuts.

    Seem that many here are pretty good at identifying the problem, now if they would offer solutions to the problem we would have a complete statement.
    Yes, here we go again - you ranting about real firefighters being upset about FD cuts.

    Several on here have offered solutions, but some city administrations aren't interested in discussing or acting on them. YOU don't seem to be willing to accept the solutions offered as solutions. Plus, it's quite possible that many of us are discussing those solutions where they might do the most good instead of on here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Been there and done that. So what is your solution. You have a 40% loss in revenue. What do you do???
    Short-term: Look to see if there are ways to improve efficiency in all areas and cut non-essential services as needed.

    Long-term: Look to find ways to make up for that lost revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Well, here we go again. State governments, city governments, are all facing huge budget shortfalls, some as high as 40%. How about offering up better solutions for making cuts.

    Seem that many here are pretty good at identifying the problem, now if they would offer solutions to the problem we would have a complete statement.
    Here we go again indeed...

    You talk about solutions.. and your only solution is to say that the firefighters should be brainstorming to come up with solutions.
    ‎"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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    The bottom line is none of the solutions discussed here will make it to jersey City.

    In fact, I doubt any of us know enough about the city's overall financial situation and operation to even discuss any solutions.

    Fire departments will close companies and reduce staffing in most other training, prevention and investigation units to put fireighters in the streets.

    I guess in this case, the department felt it would be better to have them on companies replacing laid off staff than investigating fires. I am assuming the department knows best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Well, here we go again. State governments, city governments, are all facing huge budget shortfalls, some as high as 40%. How about offering up better solutions for making cuts.

    Seem that many here are pretty good at identifying the problem, now if they would offer solutions to the problem we would have a complete statement.

    Where would I make Major Budget Cuts?? EDUCATION!. There are huge expenses in Education that need to be addressed here, and I would think elsewhere as well.

    1. School Year - Start School on the Day after Labor Day in September and end it on the First Friday in June. Eliminate a lot of wasted Days off for the Students and Staff.

    2. Instructional Areas - Teach things that are important to ALL kids, like English. If a parent wants their kid to learn French or Chinese, they can pay for it outside of Public Education.

    3. Facilities - As it wears out, remove and do not replace Carpet, Wall Coverings, and other so-called "Comfort" things. Hardwood or Tile Floors work well. AND, in new Construction, design it with LOTS of BIG WINDOWS that Open, along with adequate heating equipment, and skip the Air Conditioning.


    There's a lot more, I'll be back........
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    Sad to hear that George.

    I am betting the only way to get the arson unit more funding is to show an increase in arson fires. It sucks but that's the only way it will happen I'm sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Sad to hear that George.

    I am betting the only way to get the arson unit more funding is to show an increase in arson fires. It sucks but that's the only way it will happen I'm sure.
    Reality is that won't happen. Arson will go down with a correspnding increase in undetermined fires.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Reality is that won't happen. Arson will go down with a correspnding increase in undetermined fires.
    And in move born of stupidity the calibre of which only politicians are capable with any level of consistency, a city councilman will come forth and use those numbers to say that the AIs were fudging the figures to keep themselves in business...
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    And in move born of stupidity the calibre of which only politicians are capable with any level of consistency, a city councilman will come forth and use those numbers to say that the AIs were fudging the figures to keep themselves in business...
    I don't think that will happen. JCFD had an established arson unit for a long time...probably at least 30 years. The stats are publicly reported through the UCR and I think would stand.

    Len, if I am not mistaken, aren't the mayor's sons FF's?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    2 and a nephew. He was always fair with us in the past. Supported us and the PD.

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    Mayor Healey and Jersey City have a distinguished record of (ahem) service. Kind of scary knuckleheads like this are running our cities:

    http://www.nj.com/shore/blogs/update...es_appeal.html

    Jersey City mayor loses appeal in Bradley Beach scuffle
    By jdecina
    August 06, 2008, 8:47AM

    Jersey City mayor Jeremiah Healy lost the appeal stemming from his arrest outside his sister's Bradley Beach bar two summers ago, according to an article in Newsday.

    The mayor was convicted of obstruction of justice and resisting arrest when he allegedly tried to intervene in another argument taking place outside the bar. According to one of the officers, Healy appeared to be drunk and belligerent.
    ----------

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2...anning_to.html

    Jersey City activisits to speak about public corruption on City Hall steps
    By Agustin C. Torres/The Jersey Journal
    July 28, 2009, 2:03PM
    Journal File PhotoJersey City City Council President Mariano Vega

    After the conclusion of tomorrow's 10 a.m. Jersey City City Council meeting, the Downtown activist organization One Jersey City, supported by interested residents from other parts of the city, will gather on the steps of City Hall. They will denounce corruption, call for clean government, and demand the resignation of Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Council President Mariano Vega and Councilwoman Nidia Lopez.

    Daniel Levin, who founded One Jersey City, said the gathering is more "ad hoc than press conference." He said people are reacting to the federal corruption scandal that saw 44 people arrested Thursday on corruption and money laundering scandals.

    Vega was among those arrested on a corruption complaint of receiving $30,000 from a government informant posing as a developer seeking fast-track approvals for a building project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Where would I make Major Budget Cuts?? EDUCATION!. There are huge expenses in Education that need to be addressed here, and I would think elsewhere as well.

    There's a lot more, I'll be back........
    Let me add to your list:

    Too many administrators. High schools have multiple vice principals and various curriculum advisors...etc. It's a scam.

    Too many districts (at least in NJ). Just about every township, town, boro, and hamlet in NJ have their own district and their own superintendent making 200 large every year.

    On a positive note. Our new governor might be serious about taking on the teacher's union. Time will tell.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Default FD cuts

    No one wants to be cut, but with tax revenue plummeting, local governments need to cut services to stay within budget.

    In my own opinion, nonessential services like parks, libraries, etc. should be cut first. Essential public services, such as fire protection should be cut last.

    When budget cuts are going to occur, the fire service needs to justify its existence. While we see the need everyday, the general public and the jurisdiction we work for, may not.

    The magic words to prevent cuts in the FD are justify, justify, justify:

    1. ISO Rating. If your department's manpower, apparatus and equipment are giving your
    jurisdiction a lower ISO rating, use that as an example how your department is saving
    property owners in fire insurance premiums. Higher ISO Rating result in higher fire
    premiums, particularly for commerical properties. If Station ## closes and the engine,
    truck company, etc. are taken out of service, the jurisdiction could lose these points for
    the ISO Rating, etc.

    2. If your FD provides EMS, justify the time it takes to respond to areas of your
    jurisdiction. If Station ## closes, response time will increase to _ minutes. Show the
    time needed that CPR needs to be started for heart attack patients, etc.

    3. Let the residents of your city know about your responses. Place news releases in the
    local media. When people hear on the radio, see on the TV or read in the newspaper
    on how the FD responded and fought fires, they realize the essential service they are
    recieving from the FD.

    Whatever the circimstances are in your community, justification is needed to keep your funding. Educating the city council and your residents is the first step in trying to retain your budget funding.
    Last edited by FIRE117; 01-18-2010 at 01:21 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    3. Facilities - As it wears out, remove and do not replace Carpet, Wall Coverings, and other so-called "Comfort" things. Hardwood or Tile Floors work well. AND, in new Construction, design it with LOTS of BIG WINDOWS that Open, along with adequate heating equipment, and skip the Air Conditioning.


    There's a lot more, I'll be back........
    Interesting thought, hwoods. An issues, at least where I live in IL and I'm guessing in Jersey too. (Though I'm not sure about your weather there.) BIG WINDOWS would lead to HUGE amounts of very poor heating spaces. Even the best windows right now still lose some heat. Over time seals, etc deteriorate, and even more heat is lost. In IL it is cold for a much greater time of year than it is warm. Your heating bills will be quite high. Now I do agree w/skipping the Air Conditioning, as much as I like it. It's very expensive, and people lived for years and years without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE117 View Post
    In my own opinion, nonessential services like parks, libraries, etc. should be cut first. Essential public services, such as fire protection should be cut last.
    First of all, let me start by saying I of course COMPLETELY agree with you. Here's the problem.

    What do you think the average citizen does more per year....call the FD/PD or use the library? Or even go to the park? I'm wagering the latter two. For the majority of the population, the only time they see the FD is while they're driving around. And what do they see, lots of big flashing lights and fire trucks. Do they know or care or even pay attention to the fact that many of those fire trucks might be coming with only 2 or 3 guys on them? Probably not.

    All that *most of* the public knows and cares about is that, when they call we show up...no questions asked. And while that's obviously good, it can hurt us, too. How often do people call us? Once every 5 or 7 years, on average (my town at least). And, usually it's for nothing major...smell of gas, minor medical, MVA. We show up, do our work, and leave. Because of how infrequently people actually interact personally with us, we end up in the back of people's minds....we're taken for granted.

    So when we come asking for more money, the common theme I've heard around my community and many others is, "Well they did just great when they helped me out last year, why do they need more money now? Hell, the driver was still sitting in the truck!"

    This is where WE need to change how we approach our jobs. We, as a whole, need to be out in our communities more. I'll give you a few examples. This summer, in the afternoons, we would start to go our and about the town. We'd go to the parks and play with the kids, throw a football around things like that. Effect #1: We are seen in a very positive light by everyone around. Effect #2: We got a lot of opportunity to talk to members of the community. Very often, obviously, some kids and their parents would want to go and look at the apparatus or parents would want to thank us for our service to the community. We were able to use these opportunities to educate them. We could bring up the fact that sometimes, our rigs were only leaving the station with 2 guys. Or that we might have to lay off one guy per shift, things like that. Quite frequently, nobody would be aware of this at all! And once you are able to talk to the citizens one-on-one...not in front of a town board, or an open forum of 50 citizens, the points you're trying to get across come out much easier and with more impact. And if we can change just ONE person's opinion, they'll talk to their friends, and the word gets around rather quickly.

    While a lot of guys bitch about having to do more work, or having to go out installing car seats, or doing community events, or just going to a local park....we HAVE to take steps to be more visible in the community. Sitting in our asses in the station complaining to the mayor or councilmen won't do ****. They won't...they DON't listen to us. All they care about is keeping their position...and we don't determine that. The public does.

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    First of all, I'm very glad my little school district is not like the ones ChiefKN is talking about. Second of all, I have no idea how/why days off would lead to a single penny being saved, but I'm sure HWoods had something in mind.

    Third. Sucks big time for JCFD.

    On a local note, my FD is making its appearance at tomorrows Town Council meeting where the elected ones are deciding to remove 1 of our full time PD dispatchers. They want to pull an officer off the road and hire some part-timers instead. Even small towns have battles to fight.
    "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
    First of all, I'm very glad my little school district is not like the ones ChiefKN is talking about. Second of all, I have no idea how/why days off would lead to a single penny being saved, but I'm sure HWoods had something in mind.

    Third. Sucks big time for JCFD.

    On a local note, my FD is making its appearance at tomorrows Town Council meeting where the elected ones are deciding to remove 1 of our full time PD dispatchers. They want to pull an officer off the road and hire some part-timers instead. Even small towns have battles to fight.
    My school district is EXACTLY like the ones ChiefKN is talking about. In fact, mine negihbors his.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE117 View Post
    No one wants to be cut, but with tax revenue plummeting, local governments need to cut services to stay within budget.

    In my own opinion, nonessential services like parks, libraries, etc. should be cut first. Essential public services, such as fire protection should be cut last.
    The question is, non-essential to who?

    Libraries - Source of information and research, a place to become educated. The Japanese have left us in the dust because they are better educated.

    Parks, city people need their parks. They use them everyday. They are that tiny little island where they can make believe they are in touch with nature. Imagine trying to close central park. Bigger parks and forest preserves??? Forget about it. The liberal tree huggers believe they are essential to future generations.

    Problem is, what you consider to be essential the public may not. And every little special interest group will sell you on why their service is essential.

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