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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Because we do it and the politicians and the citizens see we do it to fund the FD. Why raise taxes, or otherwise fund the FD, when the vollies will raise their own money?

    I have long HATED with a passion having to fund raise. Volunteers give of their own time to train, maintain equipment, and respond to emergency calls. Isn't that enough? Why don't the cops fund raise for the tools to do their job? How about the DPW? Or even city hall? Many VFDs MUST fundraise to exist. They purchase fuel for the trucks, pay the utilities for the station, and buy most if not all of the equipment through fund raiser money. WHY??


    I joined the fire department to serve my community and I would expect the obligation of the community is to supply me with the tools to do the job. I have no obligation to risk my life with obsolete, out of date, questionable junk for equipment. I am afraid that what it will take is for volunteers to put an ultimatum out that says NO MORE! Supply us with the minimum of equipment and funding to allow us to do the job or we are done. Then if nothing changes walk away. You may say that is cold and heartless, perhaps, but how cold and heartless is it of the community to expect you to risk your life when they won't even fund you properly?

    I am done buying the excuses of no money when those same communities have new or newer squad cars and DPW trucks. I am done buying the excuses of no money when the park is well maintained and flowers get planted every year. I am done buying the excuses when the FD is the ONLY municipal department that must fund raise in order to get the equipment it needs.

    If you think this topic really ****es me off you would be dead on right.
    The crowd goes wild with applause!!!! AMEN BROTHER, AMEN!!!!


  2. #22
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Why do some misguided individuals still paint a fire truck yellow?

    Who's silly enough to use a fog tip?

    Why do traditional style helmets make fires go out quicker?

    Why is the 50% discount at our food eating place say "Police Discount"?

    How many B-Shifters does it take to wash a fire truck? Trick question!

    How does a Federal-Q siren enable a 26 ton fire truck to break the sound barrier, maneuver like a Porsche Boxster, and jump washed out bridges like the General Lee?

    I will continue to think up additional relevant questions. Thought these would get the party started.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  3. #23
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    I never thought of it that way. I guess we really are enabling the community to keep us doing bake sales.
    More or less my point from above;

    Because we do it and the politicians and the citizens see we do it to fund the FD. Why raise taxes, or otherwise fund the FD, when the vollies will raise their own money?
    In many ways we have done it to ourselves by being so willing to help that we let ourselves get walked on by the community and the local government.
    conrad427 likes this.
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  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Why don't the cops fund raise for the tools to do their job? How about the DPW? Or even city hall? Many VFDs MUST fundraise to exist. They purchase fuel for the trucks, pay the utilities for the station, and buy most if not all of the equipment through fund raiser money. WHY??
    Not saying it's right (and we are fully funded), but....

    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....

    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.

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

    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.

    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. Then we have the subscription issue...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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  5. #25
    Forum Member conrad427's Avatar
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    The thing that bothers me about fund raising is that the same people always donate. So, very few fund the fire protection for many.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
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  6. #26
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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..

  8. #28
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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..."
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  9. #29
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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

  10. #30
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  11. #31
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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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.

  15. #35
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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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  16. #36
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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
    Millions of people living as foes
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  17. #37
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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.

  18. #38
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  19. #39
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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.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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