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Thread: Most Important FireFighting Question You want Answered: Please Suggest

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Not saying it's right (and we are fully funded), but....

    It ISN't right and no amount of excuses and bull schitt will ever make it right.
    I refer to money obtained by fundraising as indirect taxes. Oddly, many people who willingly donate/buy chicken/attend dances would complain bitterly if the money raised through those fundraisers was divvied up between all the residents and added to their tax bill....

    You can refer to it as whatever you want, especially since YOU don't have to fund raise. It is NOT in any way indirect taxes. A whole lot more work and time go into fund raises than goes into sending out a tax bill. Frankly, I am damn tired of cheapskate taxpayers who refuse to fund services they demand they have. The truth is the majority of those that would complain about their taxes rarely come to fund raisers anyways.

    If I was willing to wait for a half hour for the nearest available fire truck to respond to my house fire, then I'd be getting the same level of service I can sometimes expect from the police around here (sheriff/state police). That fancy new radar gun was bought with a grant, just like the radios in their vehicles and their tasers. And they'll put well over 100,000 miles on each of those patrol cars this year.

    And my point in my above posts was maybe people need to wait a half hour for a fire truck. maybe then they will see the importance of having AND funding a local fire department.

    It seems as if you are defending the archaic system of volunteers having to fund raise. Well maybe you should be on a department that fundraises and see what a great system it really is.


    Years ago, the village police in the town I grew up in held a fundraiser to buy an oxygen rig for the patrol car.

    Good for them. Have they fund raised for any equipment since?

    There was a time that you worked off part of your tax obligation to some townships by helping to maintain the road in front of your house. I don't fault the highway guys their big snowplows - or their overtime. At least the roads are clear in the winter time.

    What is your point here? I don't begrudge them their equipment, my point was again do they fundraise to get that equipment? NO, of course not. Then why do we as volunteer firefighters have to?

    Unfortunately, many places that fundraise by necessity are faced with a populace that refuses to pay in taxes what they spend on pulltabs at the FD dance.

    AGAIN, I have no obligation to be a member of a fire department that won't be funded adequately enough to give the department the basic equipment they need to operate and the firefighters good quality PPE and scba. If the populace doesn't want to fund a fire department then so be it. No fire department. I am tired of the excuses and bull schitt and lies of how they can't afford to fund the fire department. Well let's see what class 10 fire insurance costs them.

    Then we have the subscription issue...

    Actually, I tend to agree with this system in areas where no taxes are collected. I also agree with the hard line that if you didn't subscribe we aren't fighting your fire. No matter how much you offer at that moment in time. We will perform rescues and nothing more. People need to learn like almost everything else in life there is no free ride for fire protection.
    Pay to fund the FD or shut it down, to me it really is that simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Pay to fund the FD or shut it down, to me it really is that simple.

    People would not care.. Until they needed us.. To do CPR.. To put out a fire or to cut someone out of a car..

    Such is life.. Cigarettes, beer, boats and iPhone 7s for all..

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    People would not care.. Until they needed us.. To do CPR.. To put out a fire or to cut someone out of a car..

    Such is life.. Cigarettes, beer, boats and iPhone 7s for all..
    Oh, I understand that completely.

    It's the Judy Collin's song "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Oh, I understand that completely.

    It's the Judy Collin's song "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."

    Actually.. it is Joni Mitchell's song... but oh so true...
    ‎"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

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Actually.. it is Joni Mitchell's song... but oh so true...
    Dang it Chief! I even looked it up because I wasn't sure. But as usual YOU are RIGHT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Pay to fund the FD or shut it down, to me it really is that simple.
    Sorry to derail the thread, but I disagree with this statement. I am a taxpayer and I live in the area that I serve. I joined to give back to my community without expecting anything in return. We have a tax and it gets about $15-$18k a year and it is the second highest in the county. If it is raised more, we will have fewer people living here = less taxpayers = less tax revenue. There are many residents that do not have extra money for more taxes. As for the latest cell phones, I guess that is all well and good if you have reception, but that is not the case in the majority of the township.

    Police - State police based 25 minutes from us and at most 3 cars on duty at a time for the county
    DPW - don't have one
    Roads - PennDOT routinely has a 1 to 2 hour eta when reporting bad roads or obstructions
    - Township runs used trucks and equipment, uses volunteer help to fix the trucks, fundraises twice a year through clean up days, the township office is the secretary's kitchen table (no city hall)

    Maybe in your corner of the world raising taxes to the point where we are funded fully would work, but not here. And, I might add, if the population can afford the added tax, then I would not have an issue with it. That is not the case here. Just because it cannot be bourn by the population does not mean that they deserve fire protection any less than the more affluent areas.

    Why do you feel those that cannot afford higher taxes should not be afforded this protection? Shouldn't it be provided by a charitable organization that's purpose is to support those people and is willing to do the work necessary to carry out this function? If the taxes that can be afforded are then given to that organization not help them, all the better. Those organizations do exist and they are the volunteer departments (at least that is what we call them around here).

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    Somehow the fire service has become the bastard stepchild of critical services. If the taxpayers can't afford fire service, how are they affording education, police protection, road maintenance and sanitation? Not to mention less critical services such as libraries, parks, beaches, etc. Poor people get police department response and those cops aren't volunteers. I know we are deeply entrenched in this type of system. Changing it would be difficult at best but that time may come. Lack of finances and staffing may force the issue. If people want fire protection they may just have to pay. If they can't afford it, maybe it's time to cut something less critical and redirect that funding.
    I live in a county with about 1.4 million residents. It is a relatively affluent county and property taxes are among the highest in the country. It amazes me that fire service is almost entirely volunteer. (There are two small combination departments.)
    What would happen if the volunteers all just walked away?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Dang it Chief! I even looked it up because I wasn't sure. But as usual YOU are RIGHT.
    That's okay, 'cause Judy Collins was famous for "Send in the Clowns", which is kinda applicable to your point about funding FD's. That should be the theme song for politicians in general.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Sorry to derail the thread, but I disagree with this statement. I am a taxpayer and I live in the area that I serve. I joined to give back to my community without expecting anything in return. We have a tax and it gets about $15-$18k a year and it is the second highest in the county. If it is raised more, we will have fewer people living here = less taxpayers = less tax revenue. There are many residents that do not have extra money for more taxes. As for the latest cell phones, I guess that is all well and good if you have reception, but that is not the case in the majority of the township.

    Police - State police based 25 minutes from us and at most 3 cars on duty at a time for the county
    DPW - don't have one
    Roads - PennDOT routinely has a 1 to 2 hour eta when reporting bad roads or obstructions
    - Township runs used trucks and equipment, uses volunteer help to fix the trucks, fundraises twice a year through clean up days, the township office is the secretary's kitchen table (no city hall)

    Maybe in your corner of the world raising taxes to the point where we are funded fully would work, but not here. And, I might add, if the population can afford the added tax, then I would not have an issue with it. That is not the case here. Just because it cannot be bourn by the population does not mean that they deserve fire protection any less than the more affluent areas.

    Why do you feel those that cannot afford higher taxes should not be afforded this protection? Shouldn't it be provided by a charitable organization that's purpose is to support those people and is willing to do the work necessary to carry out this function? If the taxes that can be afforded are then given to that organization not help them, all the better. Those organizations do exist and they are the volunteer departments (at least that is what we call them around here).
    Places like yours should be the first in line for things like SAFER grants, not ones like mine that buys equipment that sits for a couple of years before it's put into service, or just buys stuff because "We'll lose the money if we don't spent it". /roll/ At least your citizens fund what they can. It's rediculous for a community to not provide ANY funding.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Sorry to derail the thread, but I disagree with this statement. I am a taxpayer and I live in the area that I serve. I joined to give back to my community without expecting anything in return. We have a tax and it gets about $15-$18k a year and it is the second highest in the county. If it is raised more, we will have fewer people living here = less taxpayers = less tax revenue. There are many residents that do not have extra money for more taxes. As for the latest cell phones, I guess that is all well and good if you have reception, but that is not the case in the majority of the township.

    You are derailing the topic. Show me where I said I expected anything in return personally? I expect that if the community wants fire protection that they pay for it. Pay for proper PPE and SCBA at a minimum. When other municipal services fund raise to run their operations then come back with a logical argument because if they don't your argument doesn't hold water.

    Pardon me but what the F*** are you talking about with cell phones? I never mentioned cell phones either.


    Police - State police based 25 minutes from us and at most 3 cars on duty at a time for the county
    DPW - don't have one
    Roads - PennDOT routinely has a 1 to 2 hour eta when reporting bad roads or obstructions
    - Township runs used trucks and equipment, uses volunteer help to fix the trucks, fundraises twice a year through clean up days, the township office is the secretary's kitchen table (no city hall)

    Well good for them, at least in YOUR area one other municipal department does fundraising. Are you expecting me to believe the township has no meeting place for town board meetings?

    Frankly, if you are happy living that way good for you. It wouldn't interest me in the least. I am active in my community and as a firefighter in the neighboring community too. I am not in it for personal gain I am n it to help my neighbors and because I like firefighting. That doesn't mean that if my neighbors don't care enough to fund the service I have to risk my life using antiquated junk.


    Maybe in your corner of the world raising taxes to the point where we are funded fully would work, but not here. And, I might add, if the population can afford the added tax, then I would not have an issue with it. That is not the case here. Just because it cannot be bourn by the population does not mean that they deserve fire protection any less than the more affluent areas.

    Both FDs I am on fund raise. So it isn't that I don't fund raise, it is clearly that I HATE doing it and wouldn't miss it at all if both FDs said we are done with it.

    I just get tired of hearing there is no money when they will only go halves on a used engine we want to buy and then 2 weeks later drop $37K for a new truck for the DPW. That is my frustration, that builds my anger. It is that we are NOT a priority, not that there is no money.


    Why do you feel those that cannot afford higher taxes should not be afforded this protection? Shouldn't it be provided by a charitable organization that's purpose is to support those people and is willing to do the work necessary to carry out this function? If the taxes that can be afforded are then given to that organization not help them, all the better. Those organizations do exist and they are the volunteer departments (at least that is what we call them around here).

    I am NOT a member of a charitable organization, I am a firefighter who has promised to risk life and limb to serve my community. Your opinion that a fire department is a charitable organization is frankly bizarre, it is an emergency services organization whose purpose is to fight fires and rescue people.
    We couldn't possibly disagree more on this topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Somehow the fire service has become the bastard stepchild of critical services. If the taxpayers can't afford fire service, how are they affording education, police protection, road maintenance and sanitation? Not to mention less critical services such as libraries, parks, beaches, etc. Poor people get police department response and those cops aren't volunteers. I know we are deeply entrenched in this type of system. Changing it would be difficult at best but that time may come. Lack of finances and staffing may force the issue. If people want fire protection they may just have to pay. If they can't afford it, maybe it's time to cut something less critical and redirect that funding.
    I live in a county with about 1.4 million residents. It is a relatively affluent county and property taxes are among the highest in the country. It amazes me that fire service is almost entirely volunteer. (There are two small combination departments.)
    What would happen if the volunteers all just walked away?
    Exactly, what would happen if we all said NO MORE? Fund us properly or go without a fire department. It is hard enough in many places to get volunteers let alone expect those volunteers to work with junk and then ask them to fund raise to support a municipal service.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman5214 View Post
    Hi Guys and Girls,

    We are going to publish an expert round-up post on our blog and we need your opinion on the most important question you want answered from an expert. I am sure it's going to be lot of Fun! Please propose your questions below :



    Here's two from me:

    #1 What is the most important firefighting tool?

    OR

    #2 What has the biggest firefighting safety feature been since 1900?
    =
    To be honest. The most important tool is not a piece of forged steel or a hose line. In my opinion, it is our brains. We go with what our training taught us.

    My question is what is the absolute reason why we run into the fire when everyone runs out. I dont think courage is not the answer to be honest, I really dont know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    That's okay, 'cause Judy Collins was famous for "Send in the Clowns", which is kinda applicable to your point about funding FD's. That should be the theme song for politicians in general.
    So where is your answer super genius? You are great at tossing insults but pretty damn light on anything substantial for solutions.

    The volunteer fire service loses people all the time due to the time committment and now guys like you think it is great to add even more to it and have people fund raise too. How much should they fund raise? Once a month? Every week? What? How much is too much to expect people to give? Personally I would rather have my local volunteers spending time training and maintaining equipment than running bingo, or dances, or selling fireworks, or raffle tickets, or flipping pancakes, or running a haunted hill, or kickball, like so many do.

    My #1 POC FD runs 4 or 5 fundraisers a year and the amount of FFs helping is becoming less and less at each one because people are sick to death of it. With kids, work, spouses, girlfriends, family, and recreational time, time is more at a premium today than ever.

    So where's your answer because I can't wait to hear your brilliant insight on this topic.
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    Actually, we do fundraise - but mostly to keep our banquet hall open. And it's not like we're funding the fire department bar - it's more of a community center than anything. If we do have adult refreshments after the fire meeting (which is happening less and less often), we bring them in that night.

    The loss of people to work these events has more to do with the fact that the fire department is no longer the center of many folks social lives as it was in the past, at least in my department. At one time we had nearly 50 members, about half of which cared little about firefighting, but a lot about the social aspects. Most of them have moved on or died.

    As someone pointed out, if taxes were raised in some areas enough to fully pay for even the most basic fire service, there wouldn't be many taxpayers. Here, staffing just one engine 24/7 to cover the entire township (two fire stations, well over 75 square miles) would triple the fire tax. There would be a revolt - especially of the "summer people" who already pay a lion's share of the taxes in the township.

    Nonetheless, our community pride is biting us in the derriere.

    Most fire departments, especially in small communities, were started because the nearest fire protection was too far away to do any more than wet down the embers. The first fire apparatus in my community was a Fordson tractor with a PTO pump and a tank on a trailer. Some still aren't far from that, with 25 YO first due engines, converted fuel tankers, and repurposed bread trucks populating their fleet.

    I totally agree that the number of donors (raffle ticket buyers, etc) is a small percentage of the total population, but, then again, you may be surprised, especially in the really small communities.

    Just like schools in most places - where a very large percentage of their funding is "state aid," maybe we need to take fire protection out of the local realm and put it at the county, or even the state level. Of course, that will take a change of our state constitution, because we're a "home rule" state...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Actually, we do fundraise - but mostly to keep our banquet hall open. And it's not like we're funding the fire department bar - it's more of a community center than anything. If we do have adult refreshments after the fire meeting (which is happening less and less often), we bring them in that night.

    Then you can't relate to places that HAVE TO FUND RAISE just to keep the fire department operating. It is not the same as fundraising to support charities, or a banquette hall, or something other than bare necessities.

    The loss of people to work these events has more to do with the fact that the fire department is no longer the center of many folks social lives as it was in the past, at least in my department. At one time we had nearly 50 members, about half of which cared little about firefighting, but a lot about the social aspects. Most of them have moved on or died.

    It may be that way in your area, but there is no alcohol allowed in either firehouse I am a member of. The social aspect has never been a primary component, at least not at the firehouse. People on the FDs are friends and do things away from the fire department, but the only true social event we have at both FDs is our annual dinner. People move on here because the time committment becomes too much, or they are dissatisfied with some aspect of the fire department. Not because we don't sit around and play cards and drink beer.

    As someone pointed out, if taxes were raised in some areas enough to fully pay for even the most basic fire service, there wouldn't be many taxpayers. Here, staffing just one engine 24/7 to cover the entire township (two fire stations, well over 75 square miles) would triple the fire tax. There would be a revolt - especially of the "summer people" who already pay a lion's share of the taxes in the township.

    I NEVER one time mentioned going to full time firefighters, go back and read what I said. I talked about PPE and SCBA, basic firefighting equipment, trucks, utilities, that sort of thing. So please stop with the full time paid department rhetoric because I never even hinted at that. If you want a volunteer fire department pay for the stuff they need to operate, it is that simple.

    Nonetheless, our community pride is biting us in the derriere.

    Yes, it is. We are suckers and beg at the table for scraps. WHY? If we are so important to the community then support the FD with a realistic budget.

    Most fire departments, especially in small communities, were started because the nearest fire protection was too far away to do any more than wet down the embers. The first fire apparatus in my community was a Fordson tractor with a PTO pump and a tank on a trailer. Some still aren't far from that, with 25 YO first due engines, converted fuel tankers, and repurposed bread trucks populating their fleet.

    Thanks for making my point for me. The community expects those guys working with obsolete junk to be firefighters...

    I totally agree that the number of donors (raffle ticket buyers, etc) is a small percentage of the total population, but, then again, you may be surprised, especially in the really small communities.

    NO I WOULDN'T. I live in a town of 717. I know small rurl communities VERY well. I know those that bitch about taxes don't support a single fund raiser for anything in the community.

    Just like schools in most places - where a very large percentage of their funding is "state aid," maybe we need to take fire protection out of the local realm and put it at the county, or even the state level. Of course, that will take a change of our state constitution, because we're a "home rule" state...

    Sure, and when they fund you THEY will set the standards for training and inspections and equipment and heaven help you if you don't meet their standards.
    Still doesn't change my mind about the hypocrisy of volunteers having to fundraise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Still doesn't change my mind about the hypocrisy of volunteers having to fundraise.
    Don't think I don't agree with you. I just tend to look at all sides of an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Sure, and when they fund you THEY will set the standards for training and inspections and equipment and heaven help you if you don't meet their standards.
    There are those here who would cheer if that were the case.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Don't think I don't agree with you. I just tend to look at all sides of an issue.

    With 37 years in as a volly I have seen it from front/back, up/down, here/there, over/under and any other way you can imagine and it still galls the absolute schitt out of me that vollies are expected to give their time not only to serve the community but to raise the money to be able to do it.

    There are those here who would cheer if that were the case.

    If you are fighting an uphill battle against dinosaurs and rockheads I am sure it would be a relief to say "It's the law." But I see disadvantages to the idea too.
    I am a volunteer firefighter, NOT a volunteer fundraiser.
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    Double Post
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Somehow the fire service has become the bastard stepchild of critical services. If the taxpayers can't afford fire service, how are they affording education, police protection, road maintenance and sanitation? Not to mention less critical services such as libraries, parks, beaches, etc. Poor people get police department response and those cops aren't volunteers. I know we are deeply entrenched in this type of system. Changing it would be difficult at best but that time may come. Lack of finances and staffing may force the issue. If people want fire protection they may just have to pay. If they can't afford it, maybe it's time to cut something less critical and redirect that funding.
    I live in a county with about 1.4 million residents. It is a relatively affluent county and property taxes are among the highest in the country. It amazes me that fire service is almost entirely volunteer. (There are two small combination departments.)

    And that is a problem how? Are they still providing adequate response? if they are, why is there a need to replace them or even supplement them with career personnel?

    What would happen if the volunteers all just walked away?
    And at that point they would need to be replaced, but if they are still providing an adequate service why even consider replacing them.

    The fact is that in many places with low or medium call volumes career members are simply not cost effective. One could even question the cost-effectiveness of career members in my combo department, especially if we did not run EMS. In many places it's far more cost effective to spend more on recruiting and retaining volunteers than it is to hire career members.

    I know in my VFD it would not be cost effective to hire career personnel, even if the budget allows (which it doesn't, and likely never will).
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    The departments in my county are not a problem. They are well funded and have great facilities and equipment. I don't know about adequate response, at least as far as response time goes. They can't possibly compare to a full time staff that is IN the firehouse waiting for the alarm to go off. I was just making the observation that the population density and tax receipts definitely would be able to support full time paid or at least combo departments here. Yet we have all volunteer. No other critical service is volunteer.
    In rural parts of my state there is assistance in law enforcement coverage provided by state police. This is probably true elsewhere. Why no state fire department to assist in coverage of rural areas?
    It's ironic but the dedication and committment of volunteers has probably worked against the fire service.
    Last edited by captnjak; 07-31-2013 at 09:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    The departments in my county are not a problem. They are well funded and have great facilities and equipment. I don't know about adequate response, at least as far as response time goes. They can't possibly compare to a full time staff that is IN the firehouse waiting for the alarm to go off.

    True, but how cost effective would that be in a department that may do less than 700 or 800 runs a year, especially given that the majority of fire and EMS runs are truly non-emergent are the difference in response times between in-house and volunteer response have no effect on the incident.

    I was just making the observation that the population density and tax receipts definitely would be able to support full time paid or at least combo departments here.

    Just because there may be the funding, unless there is a demonstrated need for all-career or supplemental career members funding as such would be unjustifiable.

    Yes, I am strong proportionate of the volunteer fire service, and yes, even though funding may exist for career members, they should not be employed until the volunteer members have demonstrated the inability to perform an adequate response. The availability of funding alone should not open the door to career staffing.

    This isn't a career v. volunteer thing, but simply that if volunteers are providing adequate services why tie up funding career members to replace a functioning volunteer agency until either the membership drops off or the call volume increases that requires the infusion of career staffing, even if the funding exists.


    Yet we have all volunteer. No other critical service is volunteer.

    That may be true, but it's highly likely that all the other critical services do a much higher volume of calls or work. I am sure that between traffic stops, accidents, criminal responses and the like the police likely do 10x-15x the responses of most fire departments. Same with public works.


    My small volunteer village has one officer on duty, mostly for traffic stops and a few investigations. Honestly, the village could likely be covered by the parish sheriff's, but the PD generates enough income off traffic stops to justify their existence.


    In rural parts of my state there is assistance in law enforcement coverage provided by state police. This is probably true elsewhere. Why no state fire department to assist in coverage of rural areas?

    In some places there are, such as California, who does have a statewide firefighting agency. In our area we have State Forestry, that assists with brush fires.

    It's ironic but the dedication and committment of volunteers has probably worked against the fire service.
    Why?

    The fact is the heart and soul of the fire service is the volunteer component.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And at that point they would need to be replaced, but if they are still providing an adequate service why even consider replacing them.

    Not relevant to the point of fundraising. Frankly, where vollies are replaced it is usually after the number, quality, or availability of volunteers reaches such pathetic levels that something must be done to avert a tragedy from occurring.

    The fact is that in many places with low or medium call volumes career members are simply not cost effective. One could even question the cost-effectiveness of career members in my combo department, especially if we did not run EMS. In many places it's far more cost effective to spend more on recruiting and retaining volunteers than it is to hire career members.

    If they do inspections, car seat installations, pre-planning, fire prevention education, building plan review, truck, equipment, and building maintenance on top of emergency responses there is generally excellent use of time and personnel. If they sit on the computer all day it is highly unlikely their job can be justified.


    Seriously Bobby, if you aren't in a command position and aren't part of the decision making process that hired the career members and filled your position why do you find it appropriate to come on an international forum and criticize the decision? You keep talking about how those jobs could be done with volunteers so make the right move resign and prove YOUR job could be done with volunteers. Otherwise remember this line from a friend of mine "It's a poor bird that schitts in his own nest."

    I know in my VFD it would not be cost effective to hire career personnel, even if the budget allows (which it doesn't, and likely never will).


    But in your mind it is effective to keep up the illusion of having a fire department when YOU have said here more than once 2 of your stations don't have any staffing at all and the only reason you get credit for them is your chief makes sure the trucks get pulled out of there enough in a year to be counted. Seriously the problem you have there is you are so blinded in your belief that volunteers should never be replaced that it is going to cost someone their life in a fire eventually. I am on two volunteer fire departments, I have no hatred for volunteers, but the facts are the facts, without the AMA PAID CAREER FD bringing an engine in you would be doing exterior only on the vast majority of your fires.
    Again, none of what you postedhere is relevant to the the fund raising topic and is just more of your career firefighter bashing.
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post

    Sorry to derail the thread, but I disagree with this statement. I am a taxpayer and I live in the area that I serve. I joined to give back to my community without expecting anything in return. We have a tax and it gets about $15-$18k a year and it is the second highest in the county. If it is raised more, we will have fewer people living here = less taxpayers = less tax revenue. There are many residents that do not have extra money for more taxes. As for the latest cell phones, I guess that is all well and good if you have reception, but that is not the case in the majority of the township.

    You are derailing the topic. Show me where I said I expected anything in return personally? I expect that if the community wants fire protection that they pay for it. Pay for proper PPE and SCBA at a minimum. When other municipal services fund raise to run their operations then come back with a logical argument because if they don't your argument doesn't hold water.
    As I stated later in the post, they do fund raise. I never said that you were expecting anything personally. What I meant to say is that I knew going into it that part of the department is fundraising and that if I wanted to do the other stuff, the fundraising was necessary. Probably an unnecessary statement in my original post and I apologize as no disrespect was intended.

    Pardon me but what the F*** are you talking about with cell phones? I never mentioned cell phones either.
    The comment was made earlier about how people are concerned about their beer, cable, and smart phones and not fire protection. I was making a sarcastic comment showing that this is not the case in my area. I again apologize for not clearly stating what I meant.

    Police - State police based 25 minutes from us and at most 3 cars on duty at a time for the county
    DPW - don't have one
    Roads - PennDOT routinely has a 1 to 2 hour eta when reporting bad roads or obstructions
    - Township runs used trucks and equipment, uses volunteer help to fix the trucks, fundraises twice a year through clean up days, the township office is the secretary's kitchen table (no city hall)

    Well good for them, at least in YOUR area one other municipal department does fundraising. Are you expecting me to believe the township has no meeting place for town board meetings?
    They meet at the fire hall. If there are elections that night, they meet in the township garage where they have to pull out one of the trucks and borrow a table and chairs from the church so they can seat people.

    Frankly, if you are happy living that way good for you. It wouldn't interest me in the least. I am active in my community and as a firefighter in the neighboring community too. I am not in it for personal gain I am n it to help my neighbors and because I like firefighting. That doesn't mean that if my neighbors don't care enough to fund the service I have to risk my life using antiquated junk.
    This is my point. I am happy where I am at and I was letting you know how we function and what our reality is here. I was not saying that it is the best way for all (far from it for some), but it is the most feasible for my area. This is such a diverse country that there is no way that one system could possibly appease everyone in every area.

    Again I apologize if I offended as that was not my purpose in any way. I am just trying to relay my reality.



    Maybe in your corner of the world raising taxes to the point where we are funded fully would work, but not here. And, I might add, if the population can afford the added tax, then I would not have an issue with it. That is not the case here. Just because it cannot be bourn by the population does not mean that they deserve fire protection any less than the more affluent areas.

    Both FDs I am on fund raise. So it isn't that I don't fund raise, it is clearly that I HATE doing it and wouldn't miss it at all if both FDs said we are done with it.
    I actually would miss some of it. It is a great way to see some of the people in my community that I don't see all of the time. I wish it was not a necessity, and that we did not have to do near as much, but it is our reality and we try to make the best of it.

    I just get tired of hearing there is no money when they will only go halves on a used engine we want to buy and then 2 weeks later drop $37K for a new truck for the DPW. That is my frustration, that builds my anger. It is that we are NOT a priority, not that there is no money.
    I understand your point, and in the same circumstances, I would feel the exact same way.


    Why do you feel those that cannot afford higher taxes should not be afforded this protection? Shouldn't it be provided by a charitable organization that's purpose is to support those people and is willing to do the work necessary to carry out this function? If the taxes that can be afforded are then given to that organization not help them, all the better. Those organizations do exist and they are the volunteer departments (at least that is what we call them around here).

    I am NOT a member of a charitable organization, I am a firefighter who has promised to risk life and limb to serve my community. Your opinion that a fire department is a charitable organization is frankly bizarre, it is an emergency services organization whose purpose is to fight fires and rescue people.
    We are going through the process of getting 501.c.3. By definition we are a charitable, non-profit organization. My purpose in saying this is that I feel that it is not the government's role to provide services for those that cannot afford them. That should be up to charitable organizations (Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.). I see my department filling this role in that the local people cannot afford to fully fund fire and rescue. Therefore I would rather see us fundraising and doing whatever we need to do so that we are not brought into a one-size-fits-all system run by either the state or federal government (I would say county, but they are in a similar situation as the township with finances).
    We couldn't possibly disagree more on this topic.
    In a perfect world, we would all be paid for what we do and have the equipment that we need to do the job.

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    Originally Posted by captnjak
    The departments in my county are not a problem. They are well funded and have great facilities and equipment. I don't know about adequate response, at least as far as response time goes. They can't possibly compare to a full time staff that is IN the firehouse waiting for the alarm to go off.

    True, but how cost effective would that be in a department that may do less than 700 or 800 runs a year, especially given that the majority of fire and EMS runs are truly non-emergent are the difference in response times between in-house and volunteer response have no effect on the incident.

    So where do you get this number that the vast majority of calls are non-emergent? And how do you know that when you get paged? Response time is critical to the ability to save lives and property.

    I was just making the observation that the population density and tax receipts definitely would be able to support full time paid or at least combo departments here.

    Just because there may be the funding, unless there is a demonstrated need for all-career or supplemental career members funding as such would be unjustifiable.

    The truth is in many cases there ARE things that aren't getting done or done properly. Inspections may be one, maintenance may be another.

    Yes, I am strong proportionate of the volunteer fire service, and yes, even though funding may exist for career members, they should not be employed until the volunteer members have demonstrated the inability to perform an adequate response. The availability of funding alone should not open the door to career staffing.

    Golly like your VFD where no response at all can be guaranteed?
    This isn't a career v. volunteer thing, but simply that if volunteers are providing adequate services why tie up funding career members to replace a functioning volunteer agency until either the membership drops off or the call volume increases that requires the infusion of career staffing, even if the funding exists.


    You mean like where your VFD should either be replaced by the AMA FD or have at least an engine company staffed 24/7?

    Yet we have all volunteer. No other critical service is volunteer.

    That may be true, but it's highly likely that all the other critical services do a much higher volume of calls or work. I am sure that between traffic stops, accidents, criminal responses and the like the police likely do 10x-15x the responses of most fire departments. Same with public works.

    I would wager that the great majority of police interactions are far less than life threatening. Who dies if public works doesn't do their job quickly? The problem with your thought processs is people don't call for fire or ems because they are having a good day. They call because BAD things are happening and they need help 5 minutes ago. Not 10 or 20 minutes from now from people that don't have the ability to save them or their possessions.

    My small volunteer village has one officer on duty, mostly for traffic stops and a few investigations. Honestly, the village could likely be covered by the parish sheriff's, but the PD generates enough income off traffic stops to justify their existence.


    And that is the problem with PDs in small communities, they are there more for income than for policing. It is essetially the same in my small village.

    In rural parts of my state there is assistance in law enforcement coverage provided by state police. This is probably true elsewhere. Why no state fire department to assist in coverage of rural areas?

    In some places there are, such as California, who does have a statewide firefighting agency. In our area we have State Forestry, that assists with brush fires.

    Your state forestry is hardly what captnjak was referring to.

    It's ironic but the dedication and committment of volunteers has probably worked against the fire service.
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator:

    Why?

    Because we are suckers. We accept fundraising as a normal part of business in many places because the local municipalities won't fund us adequately. We give of our time and energies to train and protect the lives and then we have an additional time committment to raise money to fund the very life saving equipment we need to do our job. Is it any wonder it is harder and harder to get people to want to volunteer?

    The fact is the heart and soul of the fire service is the volunteer component.

    Nonsense. The heart and soul of the fire service is the dedicated individuals that do the job everyday, whether paid or volunteer.
    You really need to get over your anti-paid guy feelings. It is ridiculous and hypocritical when you yourself are paid and have said many times your job could go back to being a volunteer position.
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    In a perfect world, we would all be paid for what we do and have the equipment that we need to do the job.
    It has nothing to do with getting paid. My point is if the community accepts that I, as a volunteer firefighter, am willing to risk life and limb for the community then they should supply me with at least the minimum of appropriate equipment to do that job. If we choose to fund raise it should be to buy things that go beyond that, perhaps a TIC, or Jaws, or water rescue equipment. But if you expect me to crawl in and save Gramma, give me good turnout gear and SCBA to do it with.
    conrad427 likes this.
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