Thread: A tough one?

  1. #1
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    Default A tough one?

    This is a question for all you guys out there with one foot in the door in the system. In 2009 we were awarded an engine/ We cover 1250 residents and 63 square miles. Here though lies the problem........a failing fire department has asked our department to completely take over all thier firefighting operations. Thier board is going to sell the truck leaving us without firefighting vehicles in thier station. The grant would be written through our department, for our department, by myself, but for a truck to sit in a second station in a second town......we run alot of rural calls.....therefore a tanker with a smaller pump on it makes the most sense for us, however an engine with a large amount of water also make alot of sense as well.... I guess going back to the beginnning do we even have a shot at a vehicle to cover this station? If so, what would be our best shot- tanker with pump, or pumper(which would have to be 4-door) with a little more water? I would appreciate alll help and input.

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    Wow That is a conundrum. There are several different issues in your questions. You are being asked to take over a new territory which is outside your existing town and coverage area by a department that is pulling the plug on providing service to their own town.

    Why have they failed?

    What are they going to do with the funds received from selling their engine?

    Have they offered their engine to your dept?

    Have they offered financial consideration to your department for taking on their towns emergency services?
    Who will respond to man the engine stationed in their town? where will you keep that engine?
    Are they offering you the existing building? At what cost?

    Will the current members be joining your department? or is the lack of members the reason for them closing the doors?

    Do the rules of your state require a municipality to provide emergency fire protection to the residents?

    Since you would be taking on a new risk and expanding your coverage area there will be a lot of additional costs to provide that coverage. How will you fund that?

    The new risk will change your demographics but will the additional call volume be sufficient to get another truck? I don't know how the computer will look at that in scoring.

    Since you just received funding for a new engine the odds are low that you would be successful in getting another one in the next year. A tanker can only have a ,750 gpm pump, which limits the capacity for an initial attack piece, but unless you have a newer tanker it might make it by the scoring matrix.
    I can only say that unless you try , you can't be successful. The odds are not in your favor in 2010 as there is much less funding in the kitty to be doled out.

    Good luck and let us know how this plays out.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 05-09-2010 at 07:51 PM.

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    They want you to provide fire protection, but they are getting rid of their engine?

    What are their plans for the money from the engine?

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    As it stands right now we will not be recieving any funds for thier sold apparatus. We will indeed get the building to use if we want spliting all cost with their city (it is also thier city hall-all in one building). The reason for their fire dept splitting is lack of personel. The last three calls we have reszponded to in their area we took cafre of ourselves b/c no one from their department bothered to show up.....Keep in mind only one was during normal work hours. If for some reason they did decide to leave us thier engine it would be of little use for use...Igt is a 1970 MACK pumper that has many mechanical flaws, has not been pump tested in 25 years and is not a reliable truck. Our service area comes right up close to to the city limit of the town we will be taking over......we have several fireman within 5 minutes or under to thier station that could roll a truck if needed. Even if we don't have a good chance I will of course try. Is thier any advice you would give our department reguarding this venture? Would you try something different?

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    What state is this located in.... Most states require muicipal govenrments to provide for the police and fire/ems needs of their residents. In most cases a contract is required and money may have to change hands depending on the needs of the organizations involved. Sounds like they have done nothing for years and wish to continue doing nothing for free... While you provide the needed protection.

    Further, think about your ISO rating and what happens when you add a huge area with no trucks to cover it.

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    They should give your department the equipment, INCLUDING that engine, and let you decide what to do with it, and if you sell it use the funds for the costs you are going to have covering that area.

    Unless of course your agency just wants the area in a empire building move.

    And the building is worth squat if it belongs to someone else, too easy for them to turn around next year and decide it is better off using it for street department storage.

    If you are providing protection, they ought to be providing your agency with something...

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    From the additional info you've provided us , it sounds like a no win situation for your department. They want you to provide fire protection for them at no cost and want you to pay rent to use the station in their town and don't want to provide any equipment or apparatus for you to use.
    WOW: this is just wrong in so many different ways. Do you have a formal written mutual aid agreement with them currently? Or are you providing coverage out of the goodness of your department in caring about their nearby neighbors.

    As has been mentioned by LVFD & myself it sounds like they are looking for a free ride with no financial responsibility to support your department. I would contact the state and inquire what responsibilities the town has and if they should pay for your services.

    A tired 1970 mack with no pump test certs and major mechanical issues is definitely a liability you probably don't want or need, and will likely only bring a minimum amount if sold. certainly no other fire department would want it for front line service.

    I wish you lots of luck in trying to figure out how to deal with this,

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    It is a reason that it is failing and you have to fix it with your money, equipment and man power. We had a small department to fold that was next to our JD and we took their small two bay station and equipment that was not very much use to us but a 10 ton GI tanker. We moved one of our first out pumpers down there but did not pick up any new FFís from the area. It is basally a place to store equipment. We are the only department that could take it because it is on a peninsula next to a very large lake. Another department would have to go though our city just to get to it. I have always thought it was a mistake. It would have been better for us to help them more to keep the department going somehow. If there is a fire in that area we respond out of our station here and pass right by that old departmentís station to get to the fire. We get no money for covering that area. Not from the county, state or people that live there and if it was still in service then at less they could apply for some grants on their own. We are funded from the city taxes and they are used to cover that area were they pay nothing for our services. Also because of the extra square miles and less populated area it changed our department to rural in the eyes of AFG so we canít apply for the same equipment as an urban department. For instance getting our old platform replaced. Not a chance as a rural department no matter how you explain it to them and I forgot to mention the effects that it made on our ISO rating. There water system is not from our city so the small water lines are killing us on ISO. You should really think long and hard about taking over a department that is failing. Like I said it is a reason for it and most of the time itís got to do with money.

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    I just reread my last post and saw that i forgot one important key...thier city gov will still tax thier citizens and then turn that tax money over to us. That will defer any cost of the building and provide our city a compensation for protection. Also we would cover the rural cover on a subscribtion basis. We are located in Illinois

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    Quote Originally Posted by wvfd322 View Post
    I just reread my last post and saw that i forgot one important key...thier city gov will still tax thier citizens and then turn that tax money over to us. That will defer any cost of the building and provide our city a compensation for protection. Also we would cover the rural cover on a subscribtion basis. We are located in Illinois
    I would question how much that actually is - if all they had was a 70's engine.

    The only way I would do it would be an agreement to manage their department for the tax monies, and then it would depend on the amount. I would NOT take over their department simply because it lowers your grant oppurtunites, it opens you to much more liability, and has no exit strategy for you if needed.

    Keep it two different agencies. And get the city to step up. If a 70's engine was what they felt their department was worth when they had their name on it, how much support do you think they are going to give you?

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