The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has produced a document, powerpoint presentation, and video series aimed at "asking" the right questions to get the "right" answers (the ones the bean counters want to hear for budget purposes) out of your fire chief and police chief.
One I recently was privy to opened with a slide entitled "Why Do Firefighters Work 24 Hour Shifts"? The next one read "Because they want to". Imagine the misinformation that could be passed on to folks that make decisions if someone from the fire department was not there to wave the BS card and support it with facts.
Everytime the ICMA sends "polls" out to fire department seeking information, they essentially are gaining an arsenal of facts that could be misinterpreted or skewed to favor someone's agenda or opinion.
With regards to 24-hour shifts, the ICMA has data showing how our "productivity" is affected over the course of a 24 shift, such as response time during the day vs. in the middle of the night, "what" we are doing during the shift (i.e. plugs for an hour, inspections for an hour, physical fitness for an hour, eight "chase the ambulance runs" @ 20 min apiece = 2 hours and 40 min of emergency run activity for a total of 5 hours and 40 min of "activity" per shift). In this scenario, the ICMA plants the question "what are your firefighters doing for the other 16.5 hours they are on the clock?" Sleeping? Eating? Working out? Meanwhile, someone at city hall is making the statement that "our clerks have to take an hour of unpaid lunch and don't get to nap... how come the firemens get to?"
Anyone who has ever been a firefighter knows what we do - the preparation per shift, the training, answering runs, community relations, and etc. The problem is that it would be easier to get nuclear launch codes from military than to explain the preparedness of being a firefighter and the history of "why" we are where we are at today in the fire service. They also have no clue whatsoever about 24-hour a day capability and preparedness for emergency response.
In summary, be aware that everything (literally) you do on-duty (and probably off-duty as well) is under the microscope. Where it is painting plugs, answering a house fire, inspecting a target hazard, or getting groceries at the store, somebody, somewhere is attaching a dollar sign ($) to it and trying to determine if we can cut it, you, and anything else.
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Thread: ICMA Propaganda
04-26-2011, 08:20 PM #1
Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 04-28-2011 at 01:38 PM.DFW
"There's no such thing as a free lunch."
04-26-2011, 08:37 PM #2
We once had the city "threaten' us with 8 hour shifts. When we immediately agreed and offered to TA it, they were like, "huh" At the time we were working 56 hour weeks 24/48. I was more then happy to knock off 800 hours a year of my scheduled hours. Needless to say, they reconsidered. 24 hour shifts are not for a firefighters benefit. Yes it is nice to have 2-3 days off depending on your schedule but it is MANAGEMENTS benefit....Or they would have gotten rid of them a long time ago. Put all firefighters on 8 hour shifts and see what happens. The bean counters will be counting out a lot more beans. I still am scheduled 2684 hours per year....which is 604 hours more then any other city employee. So heres a BIG MIDDLE FINGER to you ICMA !IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
04-26-2011, 09:33 PM #3
Yeah... put the FD on an 8 hour shift schedule... imagine doing an inspection at an apartment complex and sounding the alarm to see if it works at 0200 in the morning... (hey, the midnight to 8 shift needs to do their share of inspections too! )"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
04-26-2011, 09:51 PM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
If not, why not?
Might be nice to do an inspection or drill when the big bosses aren't around.
W only have a couple. We probably should every once in awhile. But that would interrupt our guys sleep.Train to fight the fires you fight.
04-26-2011, 10:13 PM #5"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
04-26-2011, 10:16 PM #6
We do unannounced inspections during the day when the big boss IS there, so we can hold him/her accountable to for making sure the business complies with code.
Back to the OP: ICMA has been anti-fire department for a long, long time. We need to keep the brothers aware of their tactics so we can all be prepared for their agenda.Career Fire Captain
Volunteer Chief Officer
Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!
04-26-2011, 10:17 PM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
I always wondered about the 24 hr shift thing. How it came about, why it's done that way, etc. The it's easiest for management answer a couple posts back rings a bell- that sounds pretty likely.
I bet when you called your city manager on his threat to put you on shorter shifts, the look on his face must have been priceless!! Talk about taking the wind from his sails.
You're right Mr Mayor- we LIKE being yanked out of bed for the third time at 0-dark thirty on the same shift... We'd rather spend our nights in a firehouse bunkroom than at home with our kids and spouses. It's fun being cooped up with the same group of people- that WE didn't get to choose- for 24 hrs at a clip, and not be able to get away for a bit when you need to. Uh huh- riiiiggghhhttt... ( I wonder if this has anything to do with how much we like our rumor mill, or to grumble, gripe, and agitate... It's easier to deal with small annoyances or personality conflicts if you get to leave and recharge your batteries after 8-12 hrs)
04-26-2011, 10:55 PM #8
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
This strikes a personal chord with me and not in a good way. ICMA is very well known around here because they have tried to come in and dismantle many departments in the state. They came to my city and did a report......
In my city, for a single family structure fire, we are usually on scene an hour to an hour and a half. We don't fool around, we put the fire out and go home. However, according to ICMA's propoganda, the fires that only required an hour on scene were not "significant fires" They stated we only work 3 hours a day. They did not include fire cleanup, training, reports, etc. They manufacture the numbers so that they get the results they want.
This group is so biased it makes me sick. Our union local has attempted to find out who exactly funds ICMA, but we have been unsuccessful. I have no doubt that money changes hands behind the scenes with this organization.
04-27-2011, 12:45 AM #9
ICMA - International City/County Management Association.
Of course it's biased, it's a lobbying group that represents management, much like the IAFF represents, and is biased towards, labor. They get their money from memberships, publications and the biggie, the retirement funds they manage.
ICMA is a major player in 457(b) deferred compensation plans, so a lot of the $$$ they use to go after labor, comes from labor.
Last edited by sfd1992; 04-27-2011 at 12:47 AM.
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