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Thread: How can we make more money?

  1. #1
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    Default How can we make more money?

    Hey guys, so like most city departments my department is facing budget issues, Ive been an ff a little over 10 years and have always thought about what can we do to make more money rather than raise taxes, we already have an ambulance service, beyond that I have ideas some are crazy, some are realistic, please share any others?

    -put billboards on firehouses in downtown/congested areas
    -wrap firetrucks in ads (could be hospital ads or something related, not the whole truck just engineers compartment as we already have done in the past with safety messages)
    -lease trucks to hollywood/tv studios
    -get sponsorship (this is a dumb idea, but Im just brainstorming), wear a patch on the shirt that has the sponsor
    -offer training to smaller departments
    -offer academy spots to smaller departments
    -mass market shirts

    I don't know, I know some of these are wild, and some really won't make a difference but I feel like we are at at time where we need to start thinking outside the box and figuring out what we can do to make more money without adding hours and without raising taxes.

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    Maybe it is just me, but when I was a paid firefighter it never would have occurred to me to believe it was my job to "fund raise" to supplement tax revenues.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Maybe it is just me, but when I was a paid firefighter it never would have occurred to me to believe it was my job to "fund raise" to supplement tax revenues.
    It isn't just you. At some point, you tell the city to suck it up...or to just plain suck it.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    It isn't just you. At some point, you tell the city to suck it up...or to just plain suck it.
    And then at some point the city says we can no longer afford to have you employed ::: so suck it up.
    Unfortunately in this age this is becoming reality far too often.

    One problem I see is that in many places the revenue generated from EMS billing is put in the general fund & not used to offset the fire dept budget costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    And then at some point the city says we can no longer afford to have you employed ::: so suck it up.
    Unfortunately in this age this is becoming reality far too often.

    One problem I see is that in many places the revenue generated from EMS billing is put in the general fund & not used to offset the fire dept budget costs.
    EXACTLY on the EMS revenue.

    It is not a public employees job to fund their job through fund raising. I am sick to death of being told there is no money for the fire department when I see no similar cuts in staffing or equipment in other city departments. Especially the police.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    And then at some point the city says we can no longer afford to have you employed ::: so suck it up.
    Unfortunately in this age this is becoming reality far too often.
    I'm not convinced that selling ad space on apparatus or selling shirts would raise enough money to head this off.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Default correct...

    ad space wouldnt work, I've crunched the numbers, high ads may fetch up to $30,000 a month, but our departments budget is easily over 100 million, our downtown firehouses alone may be able to get 1,000,000 in annual revenue if ads were put on firehouses or billboards built on the roofs. But it doesn't come close to the total budget. And ditto, indeed our ems money goes back to the general fund. I am just trying to crunch every idea possible.

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    Two possible revenue opportunities:
    1) If you have a mechanics shop, offer pump repair and testing to other nearby fire departments.
    2) Offer fire and/or EMS training to other fire/EMS agencies in your area. If you already have the instructors and facility (training tower, etc.) for your own dept., offer the same training to other fire/EMS agencies.

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    Well if politicians would stop sucking up so much of the tax revenue... When was the last time you saw one of them take a significant pay cut or cut their staff and budgets??

    I know, but a boy can dream right?

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    Been through one of these in a previous department and have had the displeasure of trying to lobby the public to buy off on a ballot measure to fund a department that was being disbanded if we didnt get it. Not a fun job, lost the vote, department now in the last few months of existence.... glad i was able to move to another department.. whew! Not sure how that would work with selling ad space, but the public and funding their fire department can be a tricky prospect in times where money is tight and jobs are at a premium, Good Luck brother!

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Well if politicians would stop sucking up so much of the tax revenue... When was the last time you saw one of them take a significant pay cut or cut their staff and budgets??

    I know, but a boy can dream right?
    What I see as a problem, is when fire protection is funded from the general fund of a gov't entity (city, etc.). The politicians are pitting the fire protection funding (essential service) against golf courses, swimming pools, parks, etc. (non-essential services). I would rather see fire protection funding from a set revenue source (mills, assessments, etc.). This can help to prevent "hijacking" of fire protection funding by politicians for other uses.

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    In this day and time - ALL terrible ideas, nor employee responsibilities.
    Snarff likes this.

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    Provide fantastic service. That's my best idea. In the city I work for, they poll the citizens once a year to rank their most important services and their most important community concerns. Due to the programs and outreaches we have for the community, and the way we handle calls, the FD has ranked number one on the list for five years running. So when budget time comes around, the politicians would have a hard time justifying taking away from the communities most important service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    In this day and time - ALL terrible ideas, nor employee responsibilities.
    With the economy the way it is, running a tight ship is the way to go. If the local tax base turns bad, then layoffs, contracting out or worse: municipal bankruptcy could happen. While a fire dept. is not a money making service, we owe it to our employer (which is the taxpayers), to use their money wisely and bring in revenue when feasible.

    Look at the municipalities that have filed bankruptcy. There are many more nearing bankruptcy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE117 View Post
    With the economy the way it is, running a tight ship is the way to go. If the local tax base turns bad, then layoffs, contracting out or worse: municipal bankruptcy could happen. While a fire dept. is not a money making service, we owe it to our employer (which is the taxpayers), to use their money wisely and bring in revenue when feasible.

    Look at the municipalities that have filed bankruptcy. There are many more nearing bankruptcy.
    If you are working for a career, municipal department, you have no say on how the funds are doled out from the city and or county, unless you are the Chief. Report to work for each shift, do what you are required at the house, get on the apparatus when the tones go off and respond to the emergency and let the folks in the Chief's office worry about getting more funds. Line firefighters in most of not in all cases are not involved with getting funds. This of course is different if you are a volunteered department or pay on call one.

    If you are an officer in a fire house, you can help by burning every light in the house, turn the water heather back to a safe level temperature of 120 degrees. Keep the thermostat set at 74 in the summer and 68 in the winter. Take care of the house as it is yours, which it is.
    HBofCJ likes this.

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    Excellent Thread and answers. Now mine based from about 1972. Ancient information, but perhaps helpful. We had no Union. Two platoon 84 with an occasional Kelly. 24 hr. shifts. West Coast. By City ordnance we could NOT moonlight. Did have civil service, but it was a joke. You said "Yes Sir", "No Sir", or "I Do Not Understand Sir".

    We could and were fired for just about anything, including "Immoral Behavior" like bar hopping. The elected city council could and did gut our budget for more parks, recreation, city pools, neighborhood centers, pet projects. For two years we received zero pay raises. You could not even sit/lay down to relax until 2000 hrs. That is the way it was.

    Political activism was extremely discouraged. An old Engineer, (driver) told me to just think we were in the USMC, only that we did not salute and you got to go home after 24 hours. My feeble point is that we all knew the conditions before we hired on. If we could not take a joke, we should not have signed on. Quite a difference from today.

    Now I hear do tell that again budget money is extremely tight. Yet City Hall found the funds to hire on 33 more cops and spent over a million tax dollars on some cop report that advises hiring on 13 more. Meanwhile the fire budget is contracting if you figure in the real inflation rate. About 34.5 million bucks protecting 400,000+ pop. Class 2.

    Projected planned fire stations have been indefinitely postponed, if not canceled. Meanwhile, the City Council seems to find the money for more parks and recreation along with useless downtown beautification projects. My old outfit can still put out the fires, but it is getting more iffy and difficult. Our job then was to shut up and just work.

    HB of CJ (old coot)
    Last edited by HBofCJ; 10-12-2014 at 07:43 PM.
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