Thread: DJ's

  1. #26
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    Kurt, Brian ro someone in the know.......

    Will there be one big complete round of DJs because of all of the delays or will there still be several different releases of the DJs?

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    Definitely all of the comp DJs will come out, probably mixed in with some of the lowest scoring Peer DJs. Final tweak DJs might not come until later since the excess fund DJs could change based on whether or not some folks accept their grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    If you look back in January of 09 on this Forum I thinkyou will find my post that is almost identical to yours and the reply I got was the same also from the same guy! I listened and learned and today we are in the process of buying 20 new sets of structral PPE from our 2009 AFG award (first round). We have a wopping population of 767 covering 42 sq. miles and a cll vloume of around 70 calls per year. Small volly departments can do it!!
    What is tough for small depts is the c/b analysis on higher budget items like trucks. Fortunately for our townspeople there are years when we might go to one, count it, ONE structure fire. This means we don't get very good marks for run volume. Unfortunately when we do show up to that one fire we are still expected to bring water.

    Congrats on the PPE award!

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    Clarify a bit further on this. I dont quiet understand, the sacrifice vs free statement. Here, volunteer fd's are supported by the citizens thru fire tax, much like that of the town.
    What I'm saying is that simply because you are in a "larger" community, why shouldn't those firefighters have the exact same chance at getting tax dollars back in the form of a grant. Just because a dept. is in a community that is not a volunteer dept does not mean that thier financial needs aren't the same as those that are. In my community, BECAUSE the people have stepped up to pay the firefighters, that in itself puts a greater strain on other capital expenditures which in turn makes our community as "needy" as one who doesn't pay thier firefighters.

    Not trying to pick a fight....just puttin in my .02

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    Well that also opens up the can of worms on why some departments have turned all career. Just having paid people doesn't create a need for other assistance if the salary and benefits costs weren't justified in the first place. There are some that are running 400 total calls with 80% EMS, and yet there are all volunteer departments running all fire at over 1000 runs a year with no paid personnel at all. Several career departments I've worked with couldn't get funded because their call volumes were so low that the expense for salaries wasn't justified within what the reader could see in the grant. Had one in the northeast that way going after a tower, first look made one wonder why they were all career and the answer wasn't in the grant anywhere. Such situations call for an explanation that paid personnel were needed because volunteerism was down, no new recruits, etc, etc. Just because money is spent doesn't mean it's justified whether it's salaries, trucks, stations, or equipment. Every app still needs to show why all expenditures are justified. Larger populations and call volumes it's inherent why it's a career situation, but many don't have that implied need.

    And larger communities also have a lower cost per capita. When you have more people it's easier to get money from them. If HFD down here needs another $1mil to buy 10 ambulances, that's less than $1/resident. Easy to sneak that in somewhere, they do it all the time. For other things that is, they fund the FD well but not that well, any raises tend to go to other departments. $100k with 1000 residents makes $100 a person. Mighty hard to make that happen without someone noticing.

    That's why there's more than one metric involved, and also why each app has to be done for individual communities. Guidelines are general but apps have to be specific, and that's why such a wide range of awards are made every year. They don't have to force anything to get the awards spread out, happens by the laws of nature.

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    Brian,

    Absolutely correct! My overall point is just that.... Just because a dept. is in a small community or an all volunteer does not inherently make it more needy or deserving than a larger community or an all career. That is all I'm saying here....you can't make a financial need distinction based soley upon the size or make up of a community or dept. There are many other things that go into it.....to make it fair.

    You guys know I always get testy when this discussion comes up about this time every year...
    Last edited by ameryfd; 03-30-2010 at 12:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    Clarify a bit further on this. I dont quiet understand, the sacrifice vs free statement. Here, volunteer fd's are supported by the citizens thru fire tax, much like that of the town.
    Not everyone has fire tax. We have beer and cigarette tax which isn't much and fund raisers. We have a membership which less than 1/4 become members. Our area is being hit by BRAC and New houses and they allow they can't afford thirty Dollar a year. Been unable to getmandatory tax past,

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    You know fire taxes are good to have, I wish our community would do that but the commisioners are to ignorent. I am under the impression now that our county does not give to ****s about us. Back when we got our grant for our new pumper we went to our commisoners about kicking in the 5 % well they asked why do we need a brand new pumper any way you got a good one already. We where replacing an old 1982 FMC the pump was shot and the motor was going out in it. Well with enough pushing a proding they finially kicked in the money. We asked the city about half of the 5 % just incase we got this years grant, in a councle meeting, they just ignored us Station 49 asked well how do we do it. Well we put a smile on our faces and just keep a positive attitude. We pritty much rely on road blocks twice a year and also we got a plantation that sometimes donates us money. Its hard but in the words of good ol Wet Willie, We just keep on smiling. By the way anybody out got a good used tanker, and or extrication equipment they would like to donate or maybe sell for a good price my e-mail is capnrock@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by cornwallfire View Post
    What is tough for small depts is the c/b analysis on higher budget items like trucks. Fortunately for our townspeople there are years when we might go to one, count it, ONE structure fire. This means we don't get very good marks for run volume. Unfortunately when we do show up to that one fire we are still expected to bring water.

    Congrats on the PPE award!
    Thank you!! I understand what you are saying. Not to many years ago our average on structure fires was one major fire every 2 years. Last year we had 7 and the year before that I believe we had 5 or 6. Over half of our call volume now consist of EMS/BLS calls. Does this mean that we do not need new PPE or a engine or tanker we can count on? Absolutly not!! When I first aproached my department about grants I was told that we could not get anything because we are to small and nobody cares about the little guys. Well that is about the biggest line of crap I've ever heard. i took it upon myself to try and my first year at it i went for the biggest and the best, well guess what? I never made it past the computer on a new truck and although my ppe app. made it to peer they did not seem to think we needed new PPE at $2800 dollars head to toe and they where right. Then I came to Firehouse.com and started to state my displeasure about the whole grant process and FEMA. Inside of 20 minutes I was contacted by Kurt and was on the phone with him. He talked me into going to one of his classes and I did. After talking to him and going to his class I came home and went to the fire house and sat and just looked around and started to form a realistic risk assessment in my head and now we have new PPE coming for all of our active members. This year I will be applying for a new mini pumper on a Ford 550 or similar cab and chasis, 750 gpm pump, foam cell and 500 gal's of water. nothing fancy but a realistic truck for our needs. FEMA/DHS may not see our need as enough to award us on this but I am going totry anyway. I guess my whole point is small departments are just as important as the big ones with big popolations and large call volumes and FEMA knows it. We just need to listen to what the people like Kurt, Brian and alot of others hear are saying and be realistic in what we are asking for and never stop trying, FEMA is not the only funding source out there.

    Well that was a bunch of babble wasn't it, oh well it makes sense to me anyway.

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    Actually RJ : It did make sense. All of us big & small have an equal chance at getting grant funding, as long as you do a realistic needs assessment and apply for what the program guidance tells us it wants to give. Pay attention to the details and get awarded.

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    Attitude goes along way in being funded as well. It's not uncommon to go to workshops etc. where grant writers have what I call a "defeatist macho" attitude. You know them, they are the ones chronically complaining about their neighboring departments getting awards while their department is rejected year in year out. They believe they should be awarded since their department is worse off than other departments. They complain, but do not seek assistance to find out what they are doing wrong or where to improve. As long as they maintain that type of attitude they will not be successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFD14 View Post
    You know fire taxes are good to have, I wish our community would do that but the commisioners are to ignorent. I am under the impression now that our county does not give to ****s about us. Back when we got our grant for our new pumper we went to our commisoners about kicking in the 5 % well they asked why do we need a brand new pumper any way you got a good one already. We where replacing an old 1982 FMC the pump was shot and the motor was going out in it. Well with enough pushing a proding they finially kicked in the money. We asked the city about half of the 5 % just incase we got this years grant, in a councle meeting, they just ignored us Station 49 asked well how do we do it. Well we put a smile on our faces and just keep a positive attitude. We pritty much rely on road blocks twice a year and also we got a plantation that sometimes donates us money. Its hard but in the words of good ol Wet Willie, We just keep on smiling. By the way anybody out got a good used tanker, and or extrication equipment they would like to donate or maybe sell for a good price my e-mail is capnrock@yahoo.com
    Be very careful what you wish for. Our community has a "Fire Tax". While this is guaranted money every year it is only enough to cover the very basics such as fuel, utilities and so on. I know that any little bit helps but there are a pile of inherent propblems that could with that. Once your community is taxed they seem to think that they don't need to donate as much or any at all. Then your municipalities become more involved in you operations. Now don't get me wrong, that's not always a bad thing, but what seems to happen is they begin to believe they "own" you and they want more control. Now again in so cases that may not be a bad thing. They to question why do we need this and why do we need that. The best tool in dealing with local government is education. Educating them about how and where every penny is spent so you can prove to them that YOU are a good investment. The Tax money we receive does not make one fire or ems apparatus payment. We still must rely on fund raising and donations. Our department is pro-active in educating our community as to where and how are monies are spent and why we need the "basics" that we need. I could spend all day on this subject. Just don't get the impression that a fire tax is your saving grace, it's not. We, the fire departments have to sell ourselves to the communities we serve about the things we NEED and not just WANT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    Thank you!! I understand what you are saying. Not to many years ago our average on structure fires was one major fire every 2 years. Last year we had 7 and the year before that I believe we had 5 or 6. Over half of our call volume now consist of EMS/BLS calls. Does this mean that we do not need new PPE or a engine or tanker we can count on? Absolutly not!! When I first aproached my department about grants I was told that we could not get anything because we are to small and nobody cares about the little guys. Well that is about the biggest line of crap I've ever heard. i took it upon myself to try and my first year at it i went for the biggest and the best, well guess what? I never made it past the computer on a new truck and although my ppe app. made it to peer they did not seem to think we needed new PPE at $2800 dollars head to toe and they where right. Then I came to Firehouse.com and started to state my displeasure about the whole grant process and FEMA. Inside of 20 minutes I was contacted by Kurt and was on the phone with him. He talked me into going to one of his classes and I did. After talking to him and going to his class I came home and went to the fire house and sat and just looked around and started to form a realistic risk assessment in my head and now we have new PPE coming for all of our active members. This year I will be applying for a new mini pumper on a Ford 550 or similar cab and chasis, 750 gpm pump, foam cell and 500 gal's of water. nothing fancy but a realistic truck for our needs. FEMA/DHS may not see our need as enough to award us on this but I am going totry anyway. I guess my whole point is small departments are just as important as the big ones with big popolations and large call volumes and FEMA knows it. We just need to listen to what the people like Kurt, Brian and alot of others hear are saying and be realistic in what we are asking for and never stop trying, FEMA is not the only funding source out there.

    Well that was a bunch of babble wasn't it, oh well it makes sense to me anyway.
    That is not babble what so ever. I took over the grants in 2004. Truthfully I did not expect to get anything. Matter of fact I almost missed the deadline for returning my 10qs that year because I did not check email that often. Since I took over we have received 5 of 7 for the grants I have written under AFG and 2 of 3 of other grants, one State grant for equipment and on State Fire commission grant for training center, I was denied the CEDAP.

    Honestly every grant we were awarded was strictly based on a need. The two I was denied were based on wants. That year I got a little off track.

    I myself have found to read the questions being asked closely, answer them completely and honestly and to the point, reread the questions again, review your answers and edit as needed, then do the process over a few more times.

    But as others have already said make it based on a need not a want. If gear on the average is good for five years and you have a well below average call volume when gear is used then your gear will last longer. That's just an example for thought not actually statistics.

    I read the advise on these forums, most of the time I am already doing what is being said, a lot of the times it does no even apply to me. In my career I have written presentations numerous times for many many projects so I may have more knowledge on how to do the process than most but it is always helpful to listen to those that have more knowledge, example I was going to apply for an exhaust system but with advise from those on this forum I realized my department needs were not there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortsutphen View Post
    Be very careful what you wish for. Our community has a "Fire Tax". While this is guaranted money every year it is only enough to cover the very basics such as fuel, utilities and so on. I know that any little bit helps but there are a pile of inherent propblems that could with that. Once your community is taxed they seem to think that they don't need to donate as much or any at all. Then your municipalities become more involved in you operations. Now don't get me wrong, that's not always a bad thing, but what seems to happen is they begin to believe they "own" you and they want more control. Now again in so cases that may not be a bad thing. They to question why do we need this and why do we need that. The best tool in dealing with local government is education. Educating them about how and where every penny is spent so you can prove to them that YOU are a good investment. The Tax money we receive does not make one fire or ems apparatus payment. We still must rely on fund raising and donations. Our department is pro-active in educating our community as to where and how are monies are spent and why we need the "basics" that we need. I could spend all day on this subject. Just don't get the impression that a fire tax is your saving grace, it's not. We, the fire departments have to sell ourselves to the communities we serve about the things we NEED and not just WANT.
    Dusty,

    Did you nail that one down! An accurate appraisal of what many departments are going through.

    If you do not keep your local government advised to who runs who on a yearly or monthly basis, things can get quickly out of hand. When fire tax dollars are returned to the departments like in our state, they go through our towns budget. Then the town begins to act like it is 'their' active financial support to you. It isn't. The towns real financial support is shown by what they do outside of the fire tax. Do they have a separate budget for your fire department like they do for water, sewer and roads?

    Dusty is right, educating the town officials, the community and your department about where the funding is needed and comes from is vital to understanding everyone's side. That goes for the Town officials as well. There may be very valid reasons why monies are handled the way they are, but if no one keeps up with what is happening then you can find later on that even boundaries of authority become hazy and resentments can develop from a lack of understanding.

    Dusty, I'm printing off your response and hanging it on the wall of our department.
    Last edited by jam24u; 03-31-2010 at 11:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortsutphen View Post
    Be very careful what you wish for. Our community has a "Fire Tax". While this is guaranted money every year it is only enough to cover the very basics such as fuel, utilities and so on. I know that any little bit helps but there are a pile of inherent propblems that could with that. Once your community is taxed they seem to think that they don't need to donate as much or any at all. Then your municipalities become more involved in you operations. Now don't get me wrong, that's not always a bad thing, but what seems to happen is they begin to believe they "own" you and they want more control. Now again in so cases that may not be a bad thing. They to question why do we need this and why do we need that. The best tool in dealing with local government is education. Educating them about how and where every penny is spent so you can prove to them that YOU are a good investment. The Tax money we receive does not make one fire or ems apparatus payment. We still must rely on fund raising and donations. Our department is pro-active in educating our community as to where and how are monies are spent and why we need the "basics" that we need. I could spend all day on this subject. Just don't get the impression that a fire tax is your saving grace, it's not. We, the fire departments have to sell ourselves to the communities we serve about the things we NEED and not just WANT.
    Boy have you got that right. Our department is run on a fire millage that is good for 5 years. It is up again this year. When the very first fire millage passed, the township board rewrote the fire ordanence to put them in charge of the department over the fire chief. Now you want to talk about too many chiefs. Were lucky to get anything done.
    The township doesn't like to put any money into the fire department, they just want it to run off of the millage. It looks like we might be running into the red by $3000,000 to $400,000 due to property values falling. We shall see what they will do or not do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    Thank you!! I understand what you are saying. Not to many years ago our average on structure fires was one major fire every 2 years. Last year we had 7 and the year before that I believe we had 5 or 6. Over half of our call volume now consist of EMS/BLS calls. Does this mean that we do not need new PPE or a engine or tanker we can count on? Absolutly not!! When I first aproached my department about grants I was told that we could not get anything because we are to small and nobody cares about the little guys. Well that is about the biggest line of crap I've ever heard. i took it upon myself to try and my first year at it i went for the biggest and the best, well guess what? I never made it past the computer on a new truck and although my ppe app. made it to peer they did not seem to think we needed new PPE at $2800 dollars head to toe and they where right. Then I came to Firehouse.com and started to state my displeasure about the whole grant process and FEMA. Inside of 20 minutes I was contacted by Kurt and was on the phone with him. He talked me into going to one of his classes and I did. After talking to him and going to his class I came home and went to the fire house and sat and just looked around and started to form a realistic risk assessment in my head and now we have new PPE coming for all of our active members. This year I will be applying for a new mini pumper on a Ford 550 or similar cab and chasis, 750 gpm pump, foam cell and 500 gal's of water. nothing fancy but a realistic truck for our needs. FEMA/DHS may not see our need as enough to award us on this but I am going totry anyway. I guess my whole point is small departments are just as important as the big ones with big popolations and large call volumes and FEMA knows it. We just need to listen to what the people like Kurt, Brian and alot of others hear are saying and be realistic in what we are asking for and never stop trying, FEMA is not the only funding source out there.

    Well that was a bunch of babble wasn't it, oh well it makes sense to me anyway.
    No it isn't babble. It sounds like so many departments across the country. In fact the same thing happened to me. I was desperate to help my department. I talked with Kurt in '07 right in the middle of the application period. He talked with me a long time trying to help me and for free I might add. I realized I was way in over my head and convinced my department who had a budget of $7,600 that year to allow me to attend one of his classes.
    You know the rest.

    The small call volume departments often protect critical infrastructure too. As Kurt says, some very small departments often face greater risks than larger ones. Who can say that that department is not valuable based just on call volume and population size. Well I have to take back some of that because it seems the determining factor is always population size which is wrong. Rural departments average more runs per thousand population than the urban areas. A fact this is so often overlooked because it is designed to be overlooked.

    However if you do not make your case to exist and investigate the reasons for your needs and get the word out, then nothing will happen. The squeeky wheel syndrome does work.

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    You got to understande we are dealing with a bunch if farmers playing commisioners once a month, we try and explain to them why we need this and what it is going to be spent on and how it is going to benafit the county and our fire dept. They don't want to hear it, they say they don't have the money but go off and buy 3 brand new sheriffs cars and 2 road machines for the county road dept. This is what we are dealing with, but like i said we keep smiling and hope for the best, one of the commisoners even asked why do we need a volunteer fire department any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFD14 View Post
    You got to understande we are dealing with a bunch if farmers playing commisioners once a month, we try and explain to them why we need this and what it is going to be spent on and how it is going to benafit the county and our fire dept. They don't want to hear it, they say they don't have the money but go off and buy 3 brand new sheriffs cars and 2 road machines for the county road dept. This is what we are dealing with, but like i said we keep smiling and hope for the best, one of the commisoners even asked why do we need a volunteer fire department any way.
    Show them the facts. Show them what their insurance rates would be without a FD. Have people who you have helped come to the meeting and "testify" why a FD is needed. We all deal with that no matter where you are our if you are dealing with farmers of city dwellers. But the first time the FD is really needed for those people they change their minds pretty quick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFD14 View Post
    You got to understande we are dealing with a bunch if farmers playing commisioners once a month, we try and explain to them why we need this and what it is going to be spent on and how it is going to benafit the county and our fire dept. They don't want to hear it, they say they don't have the money but go off and buy 3 brand new sheriffs cars and 2 road machines for the county road dept. This is what we are dealing with, but like i said we keep smiling and hope for the best, one of the commisoners even asked why do we need a volunteer fire department any way.
    I spent two hours on the phone last saturday with a neighboring (ex) chief and president of our mutual aid. During a mutual aid call two weeks ago he informed me that he resigned as chief because he could not get along with his board. Similar to what BigFD14 is going through. I told him he had to unresign and while he was there began picking up tree limbs and stiking telephone poles while screaming obscenities. He and I have a lot of projects in the works. Anyway he informs me his department is sitting on $58,000 and his board does not want to spring for anything. He is worried that having that much excess funds will ruin his chance to make an applicaiton for AFG.

    The problems he tells me about is beyond belief. This guy has problems and am glad I do not have our system structured like his. However I almost never have excess funds. (CFSI webinar on now)
    Last edited by jam24u; 03-31-2010 at 03:06 PM.

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    Regardless of beliefs, ideology, opinions, or positions no argument is ever won without the conceding side understanding the position of the other. One can't win an argument without knowing the foundation for the other side's position. What the position is doesn't matter, why they hold it is. Therein lies the root point for starting to win arguments.

    Sounds fancy enough for a book, but made that up meself. Still true, you can't sway the other side unless you understand where they are coming from and what objections they have to changing said position because those objections have to be countered. Do enough of that and they have no proverbial leg to stand on, and at that point those that are sticks in the mud as shown to be just that to others not involved in the debate. When that comes to elected officials, they tend to not be re-elected.

    Of course we have it easier in the fire service than some areas because everything we need or need to do is documented with a baseline requirement in order to be considered as a department providing "reasonable" services to the community we serve. Have to assess the bejesus out of the operations and then present the findings to those powers that be showing inadequacies and what will eliminate them. That's the fun we get to have when it's in between major fire grant seasons, in between all the other private, state, and federal grant apps. Sleep will come when I've got a pine box to live in...

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    Well i will say this one of our comm. did actually see what we are dealing with, we had a wreak where a little girl was entraped she needed to be extricated. Well our tools took a **** on us while we were extricating we had to call a city department 9 miles away in another county for tools. Just so happen this city department is the same department i work at full time, my chief heard me calling and he came with tools. Well we looked into buying new or demo tools the chief at my full time department even called the county m manager and advised her that yes they despratly need some new tools to replace the dinasor tools that we have now. Well she told the tool rep that we had a mutual aid department that we could rely on to extricat if we needed them. The problem is the tools that are on the truck in the full time deparment well that truck is on calls all the time so its not a guarentee that they will be able to respond. Its ignorence is what it is and they dont relise it, done tried to make them relise it several times but they just tell us they dont have the money to wast on us. Sometimes you do feel like giving up but you just can't for some reason.

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    That's why you turn to 3rd party as in NFPA, ER docs, and others. I'm sure that girl would have liked to have been out of that car faster, and so would her parents. Unfortunately sometimes the public has to see someone die before they care about changing anything either, despite all of the common sense arguments for changing sooner. Then again we fight that within the fire service all the time too...

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    We did tell the comm. that the girl thanked us for saving her life (Not the commisoners) Us. Hearing that was better then hearing that we got grant money or a new truck or new equipment. The commisoners just can't see it like we do unfortunatly. I think it is going to take one of them to lose somthing like there house or car to a fire or somthing and it is very very unfotanat to say that but I think it is true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    That's why you turn to 3rd party as in NFPA, ER docs, and others. I'm sure that girl would have liked to have been out of that car faster, and so would her parents. Unfortunately sometimes the public has to see someone die before they care about changing anything either, despite all of the common sense arguments for changing sooner. Then again we fight that within the fire service all the time too...

    Don't count on someone's death as a motivator for change. Been there, done that. Huge community uproar after we had a triple fatal with the initial response of 1 FF (other crew on another call). A push was for more manpower to staff both stations, build a new station & renovate the second & new apparatus etc. In the end, the residents voted down everything except the apparatus & the BOS was going to pull that as well since the other initiatives didn't pass, but the Chief convinced them otherwise.

    The only change was by the department. All on duty members respond on 1 engine to calls...no one is left behind to be put in that position again.

    What's worse is the manager is now abusing the mutual aid system. The system is designed to provide resources when a department has exhausted theirs, not provide the resources because the manager or commission doesn't want to replace their equipment. The MA department is now incurring costs that shouldn't be happening. It's a case of supplanting vs. supplementing.
    Last edited by onebugle; 03-31-2010 at 02:47 PM.

  25. #50
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    And over-worked mutual aid tends to stop responding when it gets abused like that. Happening not to far from you, hence a repeat SAFER for hiring announced today since mutual aid couldn't respond for lack of staffing. Region wide issue up there.

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