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Thread: Pennsylvania volly dept de-certified

  1. #21
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I don't mind OCCAISIONAL fundraisers, my POC has an annual fish fry, golf outing, a few pancake breakfasts, and we take donations at the Halloween open house. The Fire Association is officially the fundraising entity, but we don't have to run the FD on that. We do have property taxes to fund equipment and supplies, which has enabled us to be (IMHO) a top notch POC dept.
    Our association uses the funds we raise to do things like furnish the day room, provide fire dept. shirts and jackets, and common use items like folding chairs and tables. We also fund other chairitable things like the fireworks, needy families, fire prevention education, and other local needs. (We as firefighters kind of function like a local United Way) We are quite visible in the community on both sides of the coin, so our citizens get a good deal from both their tax money and their donations. The taxes have enabled us to transition from a somewhat average rural volunteer FD, to a POC dept that runs automatic with 3 other full time FD's. The donations allow us to provide additional services to the community and the firefighters.
    I believe any community that wants an adequate FD, that is well trained and answers to the community, should be funding a major part of that dept's operations with fair taxes.
    Not even close to what I was talking about. You are doing charitable fundraisers, like my Union does at my career FD, not fundraisers to keep your FD afloat. You know to buy equipment, PPE, SCBA, trucks, fuel, pay the utilities and what ever else it takes to run an FD. To me it is absolutely apalling that somesmall rural FDs wouldclose their doors if they didn't fundraise.
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    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...


  2. #22
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    The only reason we should be doing fundraisers are either to help build up a scholarship fund for junior firefighters..or to have a slush fund to help out members in need( death, illness, disaster), or to do something like Santa on the fire truck handing out toys....

    Not to buy air packs, or turnout gear or put gas in the trucks..

    It disgusted me when I first found out that my first dept had to pay for their fuel from the township..
    Indeed, and the small FD I visited last week gets $1500 in tax based funds, every other penny they need they fundraise. How pathetic is that? We want a fire department but not enough to actually fund it...
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  3. #23
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    In the last 5 years, we've bought a new brush truck and turnout gear for 10 guys SOLELY from fundraising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Not even close to what I was talking about. You are doing charitable fundraisers, like my Union does at my career FD, not fundraisers to keep your FD afloat. You know to buy equipment, PPE, SCBA, trucks, fuel, pay the utilities and what ever else it takes to run an FD. To me it is absolutely apalling that somesmall rural FDs wouldclose their doors if they didn't fundraise.
    Yeah, I know what you were talking about, I was agreeing with your opinion. My POC used to have to fundraise for equipment, but they were able to get a fire levy passed years ago, and the community has supported it ever since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    In the last 5 years, we've bought a new brush truck and turnout gear for 10 guys SOLELY from fundraising.
    That's great..try buying a 350,000 pumper.. Or an 800,000 ladder truck..

    Not getting on your case.. But I feel you leave out alot of info..

    How big is your district? Does your community respond well to fundraisers? How long have you been doing set fundraisers?

    Some places..don't need a brush truck.. They need the new/used pumper... Or they have other needs to cover in their first due..

    Or maybe you live in what I like to call a commuter community like my first dept. I'd say 60% or more commuted to NYC or there abouts.. Or moved to retire from big cities where they had a fully equipped paid dept to respond..

    So it's really hard to get people to respond to a volly fire dept when they assume that a paid dept is there.. Simply bc they don't know any better.

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    Big Griff I was complaining (not bragging) that we had to fund raise for the brush truck and turnout gear. Our municipality doesn't do much of anything for us financially. Every community that uses volunteers should AT LEAST fund the operations and equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    In the last 5 years, we've bought a new brush truck and turnout gear for 10 guys SOLELY from fundraising.
    And if you had a stable source of funding, how many of those fund raising hours could have been spent training ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    And if you had a stable source of funding, how many of those fund raising hours could have been spent training ?
    Most, if not all. My Chief has mentioned running for office and changing things. I hope he does.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    Big Griff I was complaining (not bragging) that we had to fund raise for the brush truck and turnout gear. Our municipality doesn't do much of anything for us financially. Every community that uses volunteers should AT LEAST fund the operations and equipment.
    No worries.. My bad. Hard to tell context of a comment through a screen..

    We're good

  10. #30
    Forum Member WVFD705's Avatar
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    FWD, thanks for the info. I had was a little curious what the difference was between a fire company and a fire department, and I think you explained it nicely.

  11. #31
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    Sorry to be the bad guy in this thread, but reading the full article and doing some looking up, I have very little sympathy for the department in question (Longwood, not the original company as there is still too much unknown).

    The chief's biggest complaint appears to be with EMS provision. There are numerous fully paid EMS providers all across PA. They are all able to drive newer equipment, have battery operated stretchers, pay their employees, and all of the fuel costs based solely from billing (yes even Medicare). In the article he states they billed over a million dollars last year. He also lists what each municipality cost them in responses totaling just over $1 million. Is this the same amount that they billed last year? Seems to be pretty close to me. I know the local paid provider runs fewer calls and bills less, but is able to make profit.

    Then read on and also look up their website. They run a '12 Engine (judged best appearing and best equipped), '01 Engine, '99 Heavy, and an '05 ladder (judged best appearing and best equipped). They then say that the 2005 needs replaced. They list over 40 active members plus paid EMS staffing.

    They receive over $130,000 a year on average through Firemen's relief. That is steady, predictable income. They also offer ambulance subscriptions (which only offer a maximum 20% discount) and do a fund drive letter. They never mention chicken BBQ's, dinners, or any other labor intensive fundraising other than sending out letters.

    What I am saying is that under current funding, they have been able to update all of their equipment to newer than most of the rest of the state. Looking through the pictures, they are not buying the base models, but getting quite a few of the extras. If I were to live in the coverage area, I would have to ask how they arrived at their needed numbers, if the EMS side is self sustaining, and how many active member man hours are put into fundraising.

    Everything they have on their site shows that they are as professional as one could ask; requiring high levels of certification, responding to cover other areas when needed, and expanding to meet the needs of the community. I am not trying to say anything disparaging about the company's operations. Please do not interpret any of my post as to mean those things. My question to them is this:
    Can the citizens that you cover (including yourselves) afford the added tax load that you are asking for, and is it necessary for you to continue your operations? Not would it be nice to have more money, but is it worth the increased financial burden on your friends and neighbors.

  12. #32
    Forum Member WVFD705's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Not even close to what I was talking about. You are doing charitable fundraisers, like my Union does at my career FD, not fundraisers to keep your FD afloat. You know to buy equipment, PPE, SCBA, trucks, fuel, pay the utilities and what ever else it takes to run an FD. To me it is absolutely apalling that somesmall rural FDs wouldclose their doors if they didn't fundraise.
    We would be in that boat for sure. Everything we have except for one truck (a wildland pickup that was cost-shared through the Texas Forest Service under HB2604), we have built ourselves. We have fundraisers to get enough money to go to the DoD surplus, get a 6x6, then build the beds, tanks, brush guards, belly pans, and everything else ourselves. Even our station works the same way. We had fundraisers to buy the material for a metal building, then we built it ourselves.

    PPE, SCBA or anything like that we have has either been donated from larger departments retiring it for newer gear or we have received a grant for it. We just recently received some retired SCBA and turnouts. We are hoping to raise enough money this summer and fall to be able to train with them IF wildfire season here doesn't kick off before then.
    Last edited by WVFD705; 07-01-2013 at 03:16 PM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Sorry to be the bad guy in this thread, but reading the full article and doing some looking up, I have very little sympathy for the department in question (Longwood, not the original company as there is still too much unknown).

    The chief's biggest complaint appears to be with EMS provision. There are numerous fully paid EMS providers all across PA. They are all able to drive newer equipment, have battery operated stretchers, pay their employees, and all of the fuel costs based solely from billing (yes even Medicare). In the article he states they billed over a million dollars last year. He also lists what each municipality cost them in responses totaling just over $1 million. Is this the same amount that they billed last year? Seems to be pretty close to me. I know the local paid provider runs fewer calls and bills less, but is able to make profit.

    Then read on and also look up their website. They run a '12 Engine (judged best appearing and best equipped), '01 Engine, '99 Heavy, and an '05 ladder (judged best appearing and best equipped). They then say that the 2005 needs replaced. They list over 40 active members plus paid EMS staffing.

    They receive over $130,000 a year on average through Firemen's relief. That is steady, predictable income. They also offer ambulance subscriptions (which only offer a maximum 20% discount) and do a fund drive letter. They never mention chicken BBQ's, dinners, or any other labor intensive fundraising other than sending out letters.

    What I am saying is that under current funding, they have been able to update all of their equipment to newer than most of the rest of the state. Looking through the pictures, they are not buying the base models, but getting quite a few of the extras. If I were to live in the coverage area, I would have to ask how they arrived at their needed numbers, if the EMS side is self sustaining, and how many active member man hours are put into fundraising.

    Everything they have on their site shows that they are as professional as one could ask; requiring high levels of certification, responding to cover other areas when needed, and expanding to meet the needs of the community. I am not trying to say anything disparaging about the company's operations. Please do not interpret any of my post as to mean those things. My question to them is this:
    Can the citizens that you cover (including yourselves) afford the added tax load that you are asking for, and is it necessary for you to continue your operations? Not would it be nice to have more money, but is it worth the increased financial burden on your friends and neighbors.
    Can the people afford the added tax burden? May 1 mil or 1.5 mills? That's a good question..

    Since you sort of player devils advocate to the argument ill do the same for you..

    Can that same household afford going out to eat 2 or 5 times a week? Can that same family afford the cigarettes, beer, and whatever other vices they may have? Can that family afford the increase in insurance if the ISO eating changes? Can that family afford to replace the valuables lost if their home was on fire?

    Obviously not EVERY fire dept is in dire financial need.. Some are worse then others.. But would you sacrifice 150 or so dollars a year knowing you contributed and that if and when you needed them to respond they would show up in serviceable apparatus, with enough people, with enough training, in enough time with the best tools to do the job?

    Or do you just figure.. Ehh I can't afford it, they will figure it out.. Or I will never need fire/ems so no need to donate.. I'd rather spend 400 dollars and but my new born an iPad or a new Xbox..

    Priorities..
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    Can the people afford the added tax burden? May 1 mil or 1.5 mills? That's a good question..

    Since you sort of player devils advocate to the argument ill do the same for you..

    Can that same household afford going out to eat 2 or 5 times a week? Can that same family afford the cigarettes, beer, and whatever other vices they may have? Can that family afford the increase in insurance if the ISO eating changes? Can that family afford to replace the valuables lost if their home was on fire?

    Obviously not EVERY fire dept is in dire financial need.. Some are worse then others.. But would you sacrifice 150 or so dollars a year knowing you contributed and that if and when you needed them to respond they would show up in serviceable apparatus, with enough people, with enough training, in enough time with the best tools to do the job?

    Or do you just figure.. Ehh I can't afford it, they will figure it out.. Or I will never need fire/ems so no need to donate.. I'd rather spend 400 dollars and but my new born an iPad or a new Xbox..

    Priorities..
    The problem is that the fire service has seemingly always "figured it out", usually at additional risk to us, rather than simply saying no.

    Sure, we can stretch another 5 years from that 20 year old engine rather than saying "we WILL be retiring that engine at 20 years. Sure, we can stretch another 5 years out of that SCBA, or those turnouts.

    Or we can go without that TIC, or that LDH, or that RIT pack.

    The community has gotten used to us making do and extending the life of equipment that should be replaced.

    Yes, there are communities that are struggling to afford the basics, and likely always will simply because the tax base doesn't, and likely never will, exist to support any other scenario.

    But there are an equal number of communities, where funding exists, where the fire department simply needs to step up and tell the community this IS what fire protection costs and this is what we NEED.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  15. #35
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The problem is that the fire service has seemingly always "figured it out", usually at additional risk to us, rather than simply saying no.

    We agree, for a change. That was the crux of my original post here. We need to stop figuring it out and say "NO MORE! If the community wants fire protection pay for it or we close the doors." No compromises, no working with obsolete junk, no sunstandard anything.

    Sure, we can stretch another 5 years from that 20 year old engine rather than saying "we WILL be retiring that engine at 20 years. Sure, we can stretch another 5 years out of that SCBA, or those turnouts.

    Actually you CAN'T stretch that turn out gear or helmet past 10 years anymore without violating NFPA, and frankly in a busy FD 10 years is too long. We need to start using those standards to defend our needs for modern equipment.

    Or we can go without that TIC, or that LDH, or that RIT pack.

    Again, we need to not back down from what we need. Both to do the job and to protect ourselves.

    The community has gotten used to us making do and extending the life of equipment that should be replaced.

    That again is why I hate fundraising, we work doubly hard to fund things the community should be buying us to protect them. So many FDs suffer on with worn out, obsolete crap, that it is criminal.

    Yes, there are communities that are struggling to afford the basics, and likely always will simply because the tax base doesn't, and likely never will, exist to support any other scenario.

    I would go along with that if those communities made their other municipal services fundraise to support those services. Until they do it is all Bull Schitt and we are patsies dumb enough to care enough to put in that extra work to supply fire service to the ungrateful.

    But there are an equal number of communities, where funding exists, where the fire department simply needs to step up and tell the community this IS what fire protection costs and this is what we NEED.

    Absolutely.
    I hope for the day when we can stop fundraising and spend that time on more important things like training!
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  16. #36
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    The thing that I hate about fundraising is that the same bunch of people do all of the giving. In our dept. we fundraise for the extras, not the basic stuff you need to do the job. We had a fundraiser for a trailer for our Polaris 6x6 and it worked out great. But we have noticed that the same people always give while the majority that don't give NEVER give. It bugs me that some reap all the benefits while donating none of the money. I figure a tax district would be much more fair.
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    As far as fundraising goes, we might have to start fundraising for work comp on the county side. The Governor said he would veto any legislation( including a bill for mandatory work comp funded by a permissive levy that was OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the tax payers) that would require work comp. I guess the good governor would prefer that we do a chili feed to come up with the cash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    ....
    Obviously not EVERY fire dept is in dire financial need.. Some are worse then others.. But would you sacrifice 150 or so dollars a year knowing you contributed and that if and when you needed them to respond they would show up in serviceable apparatus, with enough people, with enough training, in enough time with the best tools to do the job?

    Or do you just figure.. Ehh I can't afford it, they will figure it out.. Or I will never need fire/ems so no need to donate.. I'd rather spend 400 dollars and but my new born an iPad or a new Xbox..

    Priorities..
    Depends. Am I paying that 150 for working fire trucks or parade pieces? If I'm paying 150 for parade pieces....no deal.
    "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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    Having just returned from a weekend in PA, I can say that I saw some pretty nice fire apparatus owned by Fire Companies. In a couple of cases I looked up these VFC's to see what kind of run volume they did and I was surprised to see how few calls they do relative to how well off they "appear". I have no insight as to their particular financial funding or situations but I do find it interesting when I travel to see the relative expense of fire protection for the number of calls. FD's in my area that do similar numbers of calls do it with far less but then all are publicly funded. Be careful what you wish for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    As far as fundraising goes, we might have to start fundraising for work comp on the county side. The Governor said he would veto any legislation( including a bill for mandatory work comp funded by a permissive levy that was OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the tax payers) that would require work comp. I guess the good governor would prefer that we do a chili feed to come up with the cash.
    If workman's comp there is a high as it is here, good luck with that bas you are likely going to have to sell an awful lot of chili.

    My combo department pays almost 30K a year in workman's comp. I'm not sure what it is on my VFD.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-02-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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