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Thread: Proposed Government Shut-Down and the National Fire Academy

  1. #21
    Forum Member IronValor's Avatar
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    Our EMT Refresher class was unable to do the ICS 100 due to the shutdown
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  2. #22
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    I thought conservatives wanted smaller government. Having things like the NFA shut down is an example of smaller government.

    What's the problem?
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    I've taken two of the longer self-study courses over the past week. They're still available, just not being updated.

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    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I thought conservatives wanted smaller government. Having things like the NFA shut down is an example of smaller government.

    What's the problem?
    I am not sure what you mean by that. Will you rephrase your statement/question so that my small brain can put it into context?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I thought conservatives wanted smaller government. Having things like the NFA shut down is an example of smaller government.

    What's the problem?
    It's also an example of exactly what the federal government should be funding.
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    Why should the federal government be involved? Fire protection is a local matter. Let the states handle it. I'd imagine every state already has standards, training, fire prevention initiatives etc. Just another layer of unnecessary government. Kind of like the federal department of education, which as far as I know has no teachers and runs no schools.

  7. #27
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    I am not sure what you mean by that. Will you rephrase your statement/question so that my small brain can put it into context?
    The government is partially shutdown. Causing it to be smaller. Fewer functions operating, fewer employees, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's also an example of exactly what the federal government should be funding.
    Says who? Where is it written the NFA should be funded? What difference does the NFA make to my everyday life?
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    Forum Member Miller337's Avatar
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    Well the federal government wishes to be in charge of all of our health care. Now once this is fully implemented and the government shuts down again how will that work ?
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    You can't take your NFA classes, but your president gives the OK for illegal immigrants to march on the mall.

    Let that sink in for a minute.
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  10. #30
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    You can't take your NFA classes, but your president gives the OK for illegal immigrants to march on the mall.

    Let that sink in for a minute.
    The bigger picture is that conservatives constantly demand that government be made smaller. Now that a shutdown is in place (making government smaller) they complain about it.

    Let that sink in for a minute.
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  11. #31
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The government is partially shutdown. Causing it to be smaller. Fewer functions operating, fewer employees, etc.
    The government is not smaller - parts of it are just shut down. If it were being made smaller, Federal employees would be getting RIF'ed or terminated. Federal assets (facilities, equipment, property, and etc.) would be declared as surplus and sold. As it is right now, all "idled" employees are still going to be paid (with back-pay) whenever they start getting checks again. They'll go back to their Federal office and use their Federal stuff to do their Federal job (which was owned and maintained by the Federal government before, during, and after the shutdown).

    Do we need Federal employees? Absolutely. They fulfill important needs on a daily basis - just as state and local government does.

    Nothing has been reduced - the switch has been turned "off" so to speak. When Federal government decides to turn the switch "on" again, it'll still be there and ready use.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Says who? Where is it written the NFA should be funded? What difference does the NFA make to my everyday life?
    Have you ever applied to, been accepted, and attended a course at the National Fire Academy? If you have, did you not appreciate both the experience of your instructors as well as the networking with your new friends/classmates?

    That alone is priceless.

    With regards to the funding of the NFA, I'd encourage you to research the 1973 document present to Congress entitled "America Burning". In that document, the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control (NCFPC) recommended the establishment of the United States Fire Administration (USFA) "to provide a national focus for the Nation's fire problem, and to promote a comprehensive program with adequate funding to reduce life and property loss from fire".

    The NFA was thus created to become the county's pre-eminent Federal fire training and education institution. It's purpose, as detailed in 1973 report, was to "function as the core of the Nation's efforts in fire service education - feeding out model programs, curricula, and information..."

    Considering that there are very few Federal facilities created solely for the purpose of training our emergency responders, I'd say that is Federal money well-spent.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-09-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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  12. #32
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Government is indeed smaller when one considers there are fewer people enforcing regulations. Something conservatives demand.

    As far as the benefits of the NFA. So what? Why should anyone not in the fire service care about its benefits?

    I'd be willing to bet I can find any number of programs you don't like with a similar justification for their funding from those who benefit from them.
    Last edited by scfire86; 10-09-2013 at 03:15 PM.
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  13. #33
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Government is indeed smaller when one considers there are fewer people enforcing regulations. Something conservatives demand.
    Again, government is not "smaller" during this shut down. Parts of it are merely turned "off". When the Federal government turns the switch back to "on", everything will cranks back up.

    Here is an anecdote that may put this into perspective for you: if you go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, you spent money, correct? If you do not eat the bread, but instead put it in your pantry and never eat it, are you saving money? No. Why? Because you already spent the money in the first place. In fact, if you don't eat it, you are wasting it (and money).

    The same concept applies during the shut down. Fewer employees are at work but all of the furloughed people are still employed. When paychecks start getting printed again, the furloughed people who were at the house in their jammies the whole time will get backpay. In fact, they'll get paid as if they were at work the whole time. Meanwhile, the folks who were not furloughed get the same pay even though they worked the whole time.

    If the Federal government abolished an entire section of government - such as FEMA - and RIF'ed every employee and sold every one it FEMA's assets for cash, then THAT would be an example of smaller government.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    As far as the benefits of the NFA. So what? Why should anyone not in the fire service care about its benefits?
    Ask that question out loud and see if you don't answer it yourself. The answer I immediately see is better-trained emergency response personnel. How can that not improve the readiness of a community?

    Flip this discussion around and ask the same question. Is someone is employed, earns a fair wage, is provided with benefits such as health insurance, owns a home, and pays their bills why would that person see the value in social programs (such as welfare, Section 8 housing, and etc.) that he or she is ineligible for?

    In the context of this discussion, the benefits (both tangible and intangible) of attending the NFA are available to all emergency responders regardless of their gender, race, political or religious beliefs, income level, sexual orientation, community demographics, and etc.

    A program that can impact so many people (both emergency responders and the communities they protect) is an invaluable asset. If you doubt that, look at the political make-up of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus (CFSC). If the Fire Service was not an important topic, why would so many politicians (all many political beliefs) be a part of CFSC?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I'd be willing to bet I can find any number of programs you don't like with a similar justification for their funding from those who benefit from them.
    I am sure you could. Although I am usually not one to debate politics due to the futility of the discussion, I'll do so via PM. I'm actually kinda flattered that you picked me to share your political beliefs with. I will warn you though: I have commitments away from this board, such as a job and youngin's to raise. That being said, I'll respond to your PMs as time allows. I don't want you to sit on the edge of your seat awaiting my opinion.

    The original topic of this thread is the shutdown and it's effect on the NFA. For whatever reasons, you appear not to like the NFA. That is certainly your choice. I hope one day that you have the opportunity to experience it first-hand. You'll be glad you did.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-09-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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  14. #34
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    [QUOTE=dfwfirefighter;1385990]
    Ask that question out loud and see if you don't answer it yourself. The answer I immediately see is better-trained emergency response personnel. How can that not improve the readiness of a community?

    Flip this discussion around and ask the same question. Is someone is employed, earns a fair wage, is provided with benefits such as health insurance, owns a home, and pays their bills why would that person see the value in social programs (such as welfare, Section 8 housing, and etc.) that he or she is ineligible for?

    In the context of this discussion, the benefits (both tangible and intangible) of attending the NFA are available to all emergency responders regardless of their gender, race, political or religious beliefs, income level, sexual orientation, community demographics, and etc.

    A program that can impact so many people (both emergency responders and the communities they protect) is an invaluable asset. If you doubt that, look at the political make-up of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus (CFSC). If the Fire Service was not an important topic, why would so many politicians (all many political beliefs) be a part of CFSC?



    I am sure you could. Although I am usually not one to debate politics due to the futility of the discussion, I'll do so via PM. I'm actually kinda flattered that you picked me to share your political beliefs with. I will warn you though: I have commitments away from this board, such as a job and youngin's to raise. That being said, I'll respond to your PMs as time allows. I don't want you to sit on the edge of your seat awaiting my opinion.

    The original topic of this thread is the shutdown and it's effect on the NFA. For whatever reasons, you appear not to like the NFA. That is certainly your choice. I hope one day that you have the opportunity to experience it first-hand. You'll be glad you did.


    As somebody who has attended the NFA several times, has attended at least 12 NFA regional programs and who is currently employed as an NFA Contract instructor, I echo DFW's thoughts. of course, I may be biased, but I have felt this way about the NFA and the training and educational opportunities it provides long before I started working for them as an instructor.

    The NFA through both the regional and on-campus programs, is an invaluable resource that provides a training opportunity and environment that cannot be duplicated on the state level.

    It certainly deserves all the funding it receives, and possibly a little bit more.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  15. #35
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Again, government is not "smaller" during this shut down. Parts of it are merely turned "off". When the Federal government turns the switch back to "on", everything will cranks back up.
    In the context of government interference to the individual, it is smaller.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The same concept applies during the shut down. Fewer employees are at work but all of the furloughed people are still employed. When paychecks start getting printed again, the furloughed people who were at the house in their jammies the whole time will get backpay. In fact, they'll get paid as if they were at work the whole time. Meanwhile, the folks who were not furloughed get the same pay even though they worked the whole time.
    See first response.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    If the Federal government abolished an entire section of government - such as FEMA - and RIF'ed every employee and sold every one it FEMA's assets for cash, then THAT would be an example of smaller government.
    See first response.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Ask that question out loud and see if you don't answer it yourself. The answer I immediately see is better-trained emergency response personnel. How can that not improve the readiness of a community?
    Prove to me that communities are safer because of the work done by the NFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Flip this discussion around and ask the same question. Is someone is employed, earns a fair wage, is provided with benefits such as health insurance, owns a home, and pays their bills why would that person see the value in social programs (such as welfare, Section 8 housing, and etc.) that he or she is ineligible for?
    The topic is the NFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    In the context of this discussion, the benefits (both tangible and intangible) of attending the NFA are available to all emergency responders regardless of their gender, race, political or religious beliefs, income level, sexual orientation, community demographics, and etc.
    Where is your quantifiable evidence of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    A program that can impact so many people (both emergency responders and the communities they protect) is an invaluable asset. If you doubt that, look at the political make-up of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus (CFSC). If the Fire Service was not an important topic, why would so many politicians (all many political beliefs) be a part of CFSC?
    Dunno why so many are members. What does that matter? I could ask that about any caucus group.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    I am sure you could. Although I am usually not one to debate politics due to the futility of the discussion, I'll do so via PM. I'm actually kinda flattered that you picked me to share your political beliefs with. I will warn you though: I have commitments away from this board, such as a job and youngin's to raise. That being said, I'll respond to your PMs as time allows. I don't want you to sit on the edge of your seat awaiting my opinion.
    You're missing the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The original topic of this thread is the shutdown and it's effect on the NFA. For whatever reasons, you appear not to like the NFA. That is certainly your choice. I hope one day that you have the opportunity to experience it first-hand. You'll be glad you did.
    I could care less about the NFA. The point is that conservatives are always talking about smaller government and that government should only provide essential services. The shutdown of the NFA only shows that it is not essential. There hasn't been an outbreak of conflagrations endangering the populace since the shutdown. I would submit it could go away tomorrow and no one outside of the fire service would notice. Except maybe those who gain financially from its existence.
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  16. #36
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    As somebody who has attended the NFA several times, has attended at least 12 NFA regional programs and who is currently employed as an NFA Contract instructor, I echo DFW's thoughts. of course, I may be biased, but I have felt this way about the NFA and the training and educational opportunities it provides long before I started working for them as an instructor.

    The NFA through both the regional and on-campus programs, is an invaluable resource that provides a training opportunity and environment that cannot be duplicated on the state level.

    It certainly deserves all the funding it receives, and possibly a little bit more.
    You help make my point. You benefit financially. So of course you believe it is a good program. I'm certain the same can be said for many programs you don't like.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    I've never attended an NFA course on campus or off. I did go to the website and look at the course listings. It is VERY similar to the courses that New York's state office of fire prevention and control offers. I suspect this would be true of many of the other states. So why do we need a federal version? We have a federal fire administration to put a national focus on firefighting. Why? The fire service is very local in nature. It just duplicates effort and wastes money. Why do I need the NFA to offer a course that I can get in my home state? I should mention that in New York State neither the state nor the federal government provides fire services (prevention or suppression). Again, I'm sure this is true in most if not all states.
    I'm not saying there is no value whatsoever to these federal agencies or the courses/services provided. But do we really NEED them? Especially now when we simply cannot afford it. Are you all willing to borrow the money from China to keep this stuff up and running? If it all stopped tomorrow would you still provide emergency medical care? Extinguish fires? Mitigate utility emergencies? Provide technical rescue and extrication? Enforce LOCAL codes? Teach fire prevention LOCALLY? I think I know the answers.
    The most effective teachers in the fire service are the ones who learned by doing. Would it kill us to go back to that? At least until we're on better financial footing?
    The fire service is not the only offender. Not by a long shot. Nor are we the worst. The approach to government bureaucracy needs to change across the board.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post

    It is amazing how "difficult" the Feds are when it comes to handling their business. I don't think Dr. Onieal and his staff had any say so in the abrupt manner the campus was closed due to the lapse in funding but "how" it locked its doors disappoints me nonetheless.
    A government shutdown is not business as usual, so there isn't a whole lot of experience with it at the ground level. The rules seem to change on an almost daily basis as the agency lawyers interpret, and reinterpret the laws of the shut down as the apply to the individual agency.

    Who is exempt (show up for work and get paid because you are funded by non appropriated funds), excepted (show up for work or get fired, but you don't get paid until this mess gets fixed) and non excepted (stay home and maybe get paid, or maybe not at the whim of congress) also changes as the shut down progresses and it is found your job is essential after all, or maybe they decide they can get by without you for a bit.

    Quite a mess for people just trying to do their job, unlike the nitwits in DC.
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  19. #39
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    In the context of government interference to the individual, it is smaller.
    It is not smaller unless everything that was shut-down was surplused and sold and everyone who was furloughed was RIF'ed. That is reducing the size of government.

    Owning 10 shirts and only wearing two (2) of them is not reducing the amount of clothes you wear - it is underutilizing 80% of what you already own.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The topic is the NFA.
    Read the next paragraph of the original post and you'll see that I indeed put my example in the context of the NFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Where is your quantifiable evidence of this?
    I think you meant "qualify" - not "quantify". "Quantifying" something involves units of measurement (i.e. mathematics). I will, however, be happy to "qualify" it for you. On the application to attend a NFA or EMI course (both of which are housed at the NETC in Emmitsburg, Maryland), the Equal Opportunity Statement is listed on the second page and states the following:

    "NFA and EMI are Equal Opportunity institutions. They do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religious belief, national origin, or disability in their admissions and student-related procedures. Both schools make every effort to ensure equitable representation of minorities and women in their student bodies. Qualified minority and women candidates are encouraged to apply for all courses."

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    You're missing the point.
    Apparently I am. Please elaborate and explain your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I could care less about the NFA. The point is that conservatives are always talking about smaller government and that government should only provide essential services. The shutdown of the NFA only shows that it is not essential. There hasn't been an outbreak of conflagrations endangering the populace since the shutdown. I would submit it could go away tomorrow and no one outside of the fire service would notice. Except maybe those who gain financially from its existence.
    Training emergency responders is, as you say, an essential service. You assert that the shutdown of the NFA "only shows that it is not essential". I counter that with a request for you to qualify your statement. Could it be that the training and networking opportunities the NFA has provided since it's inception in the 1970's has paid untold dividends (both tangible and intangible) to both our nation's communities and the responders that protect them?

    Regarding the "NFA going away tomorrow and no one outside of the fire service would notice", I counter that assertion with the following:

    1) The NFA is co-located with FEMA's EMI at the NETC. This means that the NETC trains emergency responders from many backgrounds, such as local, state, and Federal government as well as responders from both the private industry as well as foreign countries. By co-locating these institutions at the same location, it reduces the need to duplicate efforts such as housing, feeding, and training personnel. That is an example of responsible and responsive government.

    2) Many of the "industry standards" of emergency response are created, modified, and implemented through the NFA. Why? Where else can you benefit from such as diverse group of people from all aspects of emergency response? This includes both the faculty and the students. An example is the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Many people from varied backgrounds were able to provide input to the creation and implementation of NIMS. Better yet, as issues are identified with it, these groups can recommend changes for implementation.

    I am not sure where you are going with your last statement regarding people benefiting financially from the NFA. Folks do, in fact, benefit from the NFA's existence.

    Once example I can think of is the cafeteria. One of the logistical issues of operating the NETC is feeding three (3) meals per day to each student. To accomplish this task, the Federal government outsources this task to a vendor. Does the vendor benefit financially from it? Absolutely. If not, why else would the vendor do it?

    Another example is the instructors. While the NFA does have a core group of full-time personnel, the bulk of the instructional staff are "contractors" of the Federal government. They submit a bid to instruct a particular course that they are qualified to teach. As in most cases with the government, the lowest qualified bidder "wins" and is paid to teach the course at the NFA. Using "contract" instructors creates a diverse pool of personnel to teach courses while saving the expense of employing numerous full-time people.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-10-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I've never attended an NFA course on campus or off. I did go to the website and look at the course listings. It is VERY similar to the courses that New York's state office of fire prevention and control offers. I suspect this would be true of many of the other states.

    I just checked the Office of Fire prevention and Control's website, and while they have a dew classes that mirror those at the NFA, there are not very many and just about all of them are in the area of arson and inspection. There are no NFA caliber classes for prevention and education, command and control and EMS management.

    I know that is also the case in Vermont, as I was a involved in training there, and it's not the case in any state in the immediate area of LA.

    The classes at NFA are unique, and serve a role for those interested in planning, management, and to a limited extent theory.


    So why do we need a federal version?

    Again, most of what the NFA offers is not available at the state level. In addition, as DFW has already pointed out, the interaction of members from across the country is priceless, and cannot be duplicated at the state level.

    We have a federal fire administration to put a national focus on firefighting. Why? The fire service is very local in nature. It just duplicates effort and wastes money.

    But local fire leaders need a place to go for education regarding the management and administration of a fire department, and that is what the NFA offers.

    Why do I need the NFA to offer a course that I can get in my home state?

    Again, I doubt you could get what the NFA offers in most states.

    I should mention that in New York State neither the state nor the federal government provides fire services (prevention or suppression). Again, I'm sure this is true in most if not all states.

    I'm sure state forestry provides suppression in most states. It's also the case here. And if you look at CalFire, they not only provide wildland protection but also provide structural response.

    In LA, the State Fire Marshal's Office provides rescue response to statewide disasters. They also have a statewide smoke detector distribution program and provide juvenile firesetting intervention training.


    I'm not saying there is no value whatsoever to these federal agencies or the courses/services provided. But do we really NEED them? Especially now when we simply cannot afford it. Are you all willing to borrow the money from China to keep this stuff up and running? If it all stopped tomorrow would you still provide emergency medical care? Extinguish fires? Mitigate utility emergencies? Provide technical rescue and extrication? Enforce LOCAL codes? Teach fire prevention LOCALLY? I think I know the answers.

    With all due respect, one of the biggest problems in some quarters of the fire service is the belif that we do not need education, just training. Training, which is provided at the local and state level putgs out fires and responds to rescues and EMS calls.

    Education provides the leaders with the knowledge to administer and manage public education, EMS and department operations including the "business" side of the department, and that is what the NFA provides.

    The fact is that our leaders need to be educated beyond the street and beyond the state level if we are to be successful in the new world we face.


    The most effective teachers in the fire service are the ones who learned by doing. Would it kill us to go back to that?

    Disagree.

    The most effective managers and administrators, which is what the NFA produces, come from a combination of time on the street and time in an educational environment where they learn how to effectively manage department divisions and operations.


    At least until we're on better financial footing?
    The fire service is not the only offender. Not by a long shot. Nor are we the worst. The approach to government bureaucracy needs to change across the board.
    Again, we disagree on the value of the NFA.

    To me, it's critical to the fire service.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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