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Thread: People thinking stations are always staffed

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    Default People thinking stations are always staffed

    Man With Chest Pains Finds Kentucky Station Unattended - Firehouse

    It seems the partial reason this station wasn't staffed was because of a brownout, but the medic unit normally stationed there was on a call. Still the press decided to make an issue of the station being "unattended." I don't why, but this sort of stuff drives me nuts...people thinking that somebody is present at the fire station at all times to answer the buzzer, the phone, or even to handle their walk-in medical call. When people call the station, and no one answers, it goes to my voicemail for some reason. I'll come in Monday morning to be greeted by these sometimes nasty messages from citizens saying, "I can't believe there is nobody there! What are my tax dollars paying for???" Uh, your tax dollars are paying for us to be out running our tails off on 911 calls, not sitting around waiting for phone calls. Or even waiting for your walk in chest pain. What are we, a clinic? Call 911!

    Okay, Friday morning ranting done.

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    You can't win- if you ARE at the station you have those idiots who will cry to the press, the City Council, Santa Clause or whoever else will listen:

    -"All those guys do is sit around playing checkers."

    -"All those guys do is sleep in the recliners and watch TV."

    -"All those guys do is cook gourmet meals on my tax money."

    -"All those guys do is wash and detail one another's cars all day long."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Fuss, you gotta PM me with who that was, I'm dying to know....lol
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireFuss View Post
    More along what FWD said...

    We were in the Shop Rite one shift and about to checkout. The shortest checkout line had an older guy who always made stupid comments when we came there to shop. We 'reluctantly' started unloading the cart on his lane. It was kind of a special night, a few retired guys were coming for dinner so we had a bunch of steaks. Good stuff. He says to us rather loudly, "Ahh, steaks at the firehouse on MY DIME again huh?" One of our more outspoken guys, known well in that neighborhood the store was in says even louder, "You see the name on the card we're paying with? It says MY NAME, not the city, not the department, and CERTAINLY NOT YOU!" We earned this money, and we spend it so **** off"

    All I could do was sigh....

    It did feel good watching it, you could see the guy trying to figure out how to say he payed our salaries but he was too flabbergasted..... it was great!
    You should have told him "Right now you're on MY DIME!!"

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    cost of brownouts, plain and simple.

    The article doesn't mention it, but if the firehouse doesn't have it, they should have some provision for if someone comes when the company is out. Nothing fancy, just a pull box or one a phone box (like those blue light phones on college campuses)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    cost of brownouts, plain and simple.

    The article doesn't mention it, but if the firehouse doesn't have it, they should have some provision for if someone comes when the company is out. Nothing fancy, just a pull box or one a phone box (like those blue light phones on college campuses)
    The greater problem unfortunately is the false perception seen across america, fire stations are built, but either understaffed, or unstaffed (volunteer) and often give the public a false perception. Time and time again small communities have grown over night, but often fail to include the needed infrastructure to provide adequate services (industry standard). This post is not a reflection on the men and women who give up countless hours of their time to serve their communities to make up the short comings of those communities.
    Last edited by babcusar5; 04-28-2012 at 01:56 PM.

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    This particular incident happened here in Lexington KY.
    It is a shame that even one station should be browned out here. It is a shame that even one firefighter has to worry about his job being taken from him because of " Budget Cuts " . The fact of the matter is the Public loves to scrutinize us for " playing Checkers" "Eating Steaks on our dime" " Playing cards" on duty. But when they get what they want and stations are browned out they love to say " When we needed them they were not there". Lexington Fire Department is filled with a great group of guys who always go above and beyond to help the community. And There are Fire stations all over the city as there should be. I believe that the first due if I remember correctly was only 2 more minutes away from this call and was there within 5 minutes. Which I would imagine seems like a life time when you are having a heart attack. I just wish that the Mayor and all of the other politicians that make the decisions around here would use volunteers to maintain the parks and prisoners to maintain the streets and roads and leave those that serve the public's Retirement and vacation days and well deserved pay the hell alone and not put the public in harms way by browning out stations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronValor View Post
    I just wish that the Mayor and all of the other politicians that make the decisions around here would use volunteers to maintain the parks and prisoners to maintain the streets and roads and leave those that serve the public's Retirement and vacation days and well deserved pay the hell alone and not put the public in harms way by browning out stations.
    Just My Two Pesos and all
    The people who are paid to maintain the parks, and streets would disagree with you. They may not be IAFF members, but a good portion of them are union brothers and sisters, and have just as much right to be employed as we do, and need their jobs as much as we do. The city would love to see work groups pitted against each other, with each union offering up the others to be outsourced, or have their work farmed out to volunteers.

    If you are looking to save FF jobs by taking jobs from other working men and women, you come dangerously close to being a D-bag, just like the folks that think we play checkers all day.

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    A co-worker who runs with a very rural FD related that several firefighters from the "big city" stopped at their firehouse early one morning, looking for directions or whatever. They pushed the button on the front of the firehouse, figuring it was the bell...

    It was the fire siren.

    A member who happened to be nearby arrived shortly and suggested the big city boys clear out before others arrived and took issue with having been rousted from bed for such nonsense.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    A co-worker who runs with a very rural FD related that several firefighters from the "big city" stopped at their firehouse early one morning, looking for directions or whatever. They pushed the button on the front of the firehouse, figuring it was the bell...

    It was the fire siren.

    A member who happened to be nearby arrived shortly and suggested the big city boys clear out before others arrived and took issue with having been rousted from bed for such nonsense.
    In retrospect, perhaps the members of that dept deserved to be rousted from bed for such nonsense (the button for the siren being easily accessible on the front of the building and not marked in any fashion.......)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    A co-worker who runs with a very rural FD related that several firefighters from the "big city" stopped at their firehouse early one morning, looking for directions or whatever. They pushed the button on the front of the firehouse, figuring it was the bell...

    It was the fire siren.

    A member who happened to be nearby arrived shortly and suggested the big city boys clear out before others arrived and took issue with having been rousted from bed for such nonsense.
    I'm sure that folks could have fun with that button ......
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    In retrospect, perhaps the members of that dept deserved to be rousted from bed for such nonsense (the button for the siren being easily accessible on the front of the building and not marked in any fashion.......)
    Don't know if it was marked in any manner or not, and they've moved out of that station into a new building, so I can't check...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Don't know if it was marked in any manner or not, and they've moved out of that station into a new building, so I can't check...
    The oldtimers at my current department tell me our station used to have such a siren button located outside. Just hit it and the rooftop siren goes off. Since we're a career station, we have people sleeping here. It became a local teen prank sort of thing to sneak up to the station and hit the button to wake the guys up. The siren was disconnected pretty quickly after that.

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    On the other side of the coin, a full-time station I used to work at (now demolished and replaced) had a night bell beside the front door. The "powers that be" designed an addition to the front of the building, and had a company come in and do the work. After it was all done, someone asked about the night bell button. Um, nobody every moved it - it was now behind an interior wall!! And it was never corrected - it was still that way when the station was demolished. Anyone wanting or needing the guys had to pound on the door.
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    We're reasonably well staffed with both the Career crew on Daywork (5 people) and the Volunteers who are there all the time. BUT, as several have mentioned, you can't be committed to a run and be in the station at the same time. We shop the same as the Brother from Philly, do Inspections in the district, Train, do Fire and life safety Events, and are out in the Community all the time. Like many Volunteer organizations that raise funds, we send out a letter to all addresses in our district each year. A couple of points that we repeat each year include "Always call 911 for an Emergency" and our website "Contact Us" info. When speaking to Civic Groups, etc. we make it a point to explain our situation to everyone. I am still amazed at the amount of people who think that their 911 call goes directly to a Dispatcher in their local Fire Station. We're working to see that the Community is informed, but it takes a lot of time. If I may, I'd offer a bit of advice to those who are undergoing the "Brownout" thing: Your IAFF Local needs to use incidents where the outcome is affected by a Brownout to your advantage, raising awareness of this problem, and bolstering Citizen support for better staffing.......
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    Problem is that the BRT was sitting in the bay with no one home. Normally if out and about there is no vehicles visible in the bay. The gentleman saw an engine in the bay and no one home.

    That's all I say about this incident.
    tajm611 likes this.

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    My combo department has signs at each of our volunteer stations at the doors, and in front of the station, stating that the station is unmanned and to call 911. Our manned station has a sign stating that this station may be unmanned, that if nobody is at the station, to call 911.

    My previous VFD installed a direct phone line to dispatch in the front of our stations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My previous VFD installed a direct phone line to dispatch in the front of our stations.
    All of our stations are manned (thank goodness). But with that, all stations have comm box's outside the front door that connects directly to 911 dispatch. If nobody is home, you still have a way to call in an emergency. Better Pro-active, than, Re-active.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    All of our stations are manned (thank goodness). But with that, all stations have comm box's outside the front door that connects directly to 911 dispatch. If nobody is home, you still have a way to call in an emergency. Better Pro-active, than, Re-active.
    FM1
    Methinks that, had the crew(s) from one of your stations been out on a call, the headline could well have been the same - someone showed up at a station needing assistance and there was no one there.

    As one poster pointed out, there was a BRT sitting in a stall, but how many FD's store reserve apparatus in unused bays? The crew is out on a call, but there's still a truck sitting in the station.

    The press made an issue out of a non-issue. Even the mention of the brownouts is a strawman.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Methinks that, had the crew(s) from one of your stations been out on a call, the headline could well have been the same - someone showed up at a station needing assistance and there was no one there.

    As one poster pointed out, there was a BRT sitting in a stall, but how many FD's store reserve apparatus in unused bays? The crew is out on a call, but there's still a truck sitting in the station.
    The press made an issue out of a non-issue. Even the mention of the brownouts is a strawman.
    The brownouts aren't a strawman, its a valid point to bring up. Even with all the things that take firemen out of the firehouse, there is still a significant amount of time the firehouse is occupied. So while it is possible that the company would have been out anyways, there is a good chance they would have been in quarters. The brownout is an issue, because the citizens never know when the firehouse is going to be browned out. They can show up to report an emergency and find the firehouse empty when yesterday the firemen were there with no alternative for summoning help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Methinks that, had the crew(s) from one of your stations been out on a call, the headline could well have been the same - someone showed up at a station needing assistance and there was no one there.

    As one poster pointed out, there was a BRT sitting in a stall, but how many FD's store reserve apparatus in unused bays? The crew is out on a call, but there's still a truck sitting in the station.

    The press made an issue out of a non-issue. Even the mention of the brownouts is a strawman.
    Maybe, maybe not. The thing is here, we have a way for someone in need, to still contact 911 if nobody is home at the front door.

    Do You???

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. The thing is here, we have a way for someone in need, to still contact 911 if nobody is home at the front door.

    Do You???

    FM1
    A marked button (inside a fire box) will sound the siren on our station. After that, it's their cell phone, or possibly the local convenience store. At least we finally have a cell tower close enough that there's cell service there...

    AFAIK, nobody in the county has a direct-line phone on the front of their station, including the two career staffed departments and one with a 24 hour paid driver). As a rule, the public knows that the volunteer stations aren't staffed.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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