Thought i would get on the stump this morning. After some reasearch, Helping Our Own has determined that an average of between 3 and 10 Billion dollars(yes, BILLIONS) worth of used fire equipment and gear is being shipped to other countries, with the US taxpayer footing most of the bill. with all the depts here needing help, this is crazy.
If we cant help our fellow depts, how can we expect the Government to be a savior for us.
Heres an estimate on some of what is needed by depts here in the USA. 30,000 firefighters have no PPE or unsafe, out of date PPE, 10,000 SCBA are needed, and 13,000 extra bottles, some depts dont have any spare bottles. the Average age of the pumpers for the over 4,000 depts we have figures for is around a 1964 model. Now, there was an estimated 50,000 sets of used, still serviceable turnouts shipped out of country last year, and hundreds of fire apparatus were shipped out, with free shipping by the US government as long as it left the country,per the Denton Amendment Act,(its illegal for the government to haul apparatus for free here.)
Helping Our Own has helped over 100 depts so far with an estmated 7.95 million dollars worth of donated equip and gear, but its just a drop in the bucket of whats needed,
if we could keep the useable equipment and gear here in the states, we shouldnt need a Fire Act Grant,or then it could be used for things other than basic gear. We would have every dept in the country in safe gear and newer, dependable equipment,
So, whats your thoughts.
Thanks for listening,
Captain Tyler Sitzer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Arkansas coordinator for Helping Our Own. www.helpingourown.com
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04-16-2001, 10:39 AM #1ttjjssFirehouse.com Guest
Fire Equip being exported instead of staying here/ Fire Act
04-16-2001, 02:00 PM #2mongofire_99Firehouse.com Guest
Excellent job of research, excellent job!
Isn't it amazing that we'll unconstitutionally bend over backwards to help some other country and give ours the table scraps. Billions sent for fire protection, food, nation building, WWII recovery and other BS when ALL of that money can be used right here at home on a great big CONSTITUTIONAL tax break and the local power to locally fund our local services (fire/police protection, shelters, charities) at the level we want.
Here's a story - A few years back we had a local civic group that wanted to buy one of our older engines and ship it off to BFE where they didn't have one. While this is an admirable effort by the group, they couldn't to see the forest for the trees - a department 10 miles down the road didn't have one either and some of the people in this civic group live in that district!
We sold it and all its equipment to the department for a $1.00 (someday we might send the bill).
04-16-2001, 02:44 PM #3Jim M.Firehouse.com Guest
Please cite the location of the records that you found. While we do lots of foolish things in this country, this has the sound of another urban legend to me.
04-16-2001, 05:40 PM #4ttjjssFirehouse.com Guest
thanks for the responses guys,
Jim, email Mark Warnick at email@example.com or call him at 1-417-679-2828.
he is the founder and national coordinator for Helping Our Own, www.helpingourown.com
he has done the majority of this research himself, and lots of it comes from personal contacts with depts all across the USA, he also has some very good contacts in DC. I personally have talked with many, many depts, (mostly big cities) that have sent their old equipment and gear out of country. most said they never realized the need here . There have been lots of guys talk about seeing used apparatus and gear at depts in other countries when they were traveling, and some said they saw newer and better equipment than their own dept had, 99 percent of it originated in the good ole USA. We have got to wake up and help our own first, then worry about the rest of the world ! thanks ,TYLER
04-20-2001, 03:49 PM #5ttjjssFirehouse.com Guest
I didnt mean to imply that all of this equipment and gear was shipped by the government, but quite a bit of it is, the 1985 denton act is an amendment to the foreign asistance act of 1961, which permits the air force to transport supplies and materials donated by non- governmental sources and intended for humanitarian assistance, it is transported without charge on a space available plan. it does include mostly food, medicines, clothing, etc, but can also include, fire and law enforcement equipment,agricultural equipment and supplies, etc...
the subject of poor fire depts and used equipment and gear will be covered in the near future in a national daily publication.
a home charity act is being written as we speak to try and get used fire equipment and gear listed on a website or in a publication for a few months before it is shipped overseas, if its to be donated or sell for less than a certain percent of its value.
this would allow our own needy depts to have a shot a some of it before it leaves the country.
04-22-2001, 02:13 AM #6LooperFirehouse.com Guest
The private sector (industry, refineries, ect.) actually destroys large quantities of equipment (especially SCBA) because of the legal liability incurred in giving it to someone else.
In Texas, a program was established, through the Texas Forest Service, to address this issue and save all of this equipment. The companies donate the gear (servicable)to the Forest Service with no liability attached. The Forest Service then turns around and gives it to local departments that need it.
04-22-2001, 07:10 PM #7ENG 6511Firehouse.com Guest
Ah yes, legal liability! It raises its ugly head in every walk of life now. It has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. It hinders almost everything good we used to do. Isn't it a shame that depts. have to go through all of the gyrations to satisfy those seeking the "perfect" society.
04-22-2001, 07:26 PM #8xchief9bFirehouse.com Guest
I wonder why these needy Fire Depts have not applied for the Federal Grants? You can bet your life the wealthy depts are doing it.
Only 250 applications as of today is a disgrace, so to those who don't, do NOT ask your ELECTED representatives for anything in the future. Because you know the answer you will get.
04-23-2001, 12:57 AM #9ttjjssFirehouse.com Guest
liability is NOT an issue anymore, there are many ways around it so that isnt an excuse any more, Helping Our Own does the same thing as the Texas foretry service ,only on a national level, there is also hold harmless agreements, anonomous donations, dumpster diving, etc.....
as far as needy depts applying, many are now with some pushing, BUT the majority of them are operating on a few thousand or even a few hundred dollars a year, they cant come up with much or ay of the 10 percent matching funds. of the over 4000 depts that H.O.O. has records of, the average annual budget is around $4,000, but most are less than that, we keep records of depts with less than $15,000 a year budgets. just sit and try to figure out how you would operate a dept on a small budget like that, there are many, many depts doing that every day. the sick part of the whole 100 million dollar amount is that the government wastes that much or more every week on many things, including pork projects.
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