Thread: FEMA, Wildfires
08-12-2000, 09:28 PM #1chief208Firehouse.com Guest
Don't all you men and women on the front line feel much better now that FEMA Director Lee has patted one of your own on the back, all the while thinking he looked fashionably
correct with his brush shirt tucked neatly in his jeans?
Right now you brave soles don't need pats on the back from some political appointiee, but actual, physical and material help from our goverment.
I hope others see this also and call upon our nation to protect our own
08-13-2000, 12:26 AM #2mtnfireguyFirehouse.com Guest
Well I can only speak for the fire I am involved with..... We are receiving as much help as the feds can offer. Which currently consists of a Type 2 overhead team with a Type 1 due in Monday. Air support, ground troops, the national guard and many more....
We also have an investigation team and a critical incident team due to the fatality.
You may not have the support you need in your are, but they are doing all they can in ours with the limited resources available due to the magnatude of the western fires.
08-14-2000, 08:42 PM #3SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
I don't think that now is the time for taking shots are Mr. Witt. I believe that he is genuinely concerned about the present fire situation. The feds have given lots of support to firefighting efforts in the west.
They even sent me out as a Structural Protection Specialist. And from the east, no less! Extra military aid and people coming in from foreign countries to help out! When have we ever seen that? Put your energy into making the system better. A true national mutual aid system is what this country really needs. There are many many firefighters sitting and wanting to help out, but are not as yet cross trained and/or cross equipped to do so, safely. That's where we all need to help out with.
Thanks for your input!
08-15-2000, 06:09 PM #4keestrokesFirehouse.com Guest
At least FEMA is putting money into the pot, although we all know what a election year will do. But what I'm concerned about is the Forest Service's hording of equipment and crews. In CA, CDF sent 5 strike teams of type 3 engines (30) and 2 strike teams of crews (4) to Montana. Forest Service R5, CA, has almost 10 hot shot crews and too many engines to count SITTING, waiting for the "BIG ONE", while the rest of the west is getting worked to death. While I understand we do not want to strip all of our equipment, we must deal with what's in front of us, not the "WHAT IF" Fire. Someone in R5 FS want to explain that one to me? And I work for CDF!
08-15-2000, 08:07 PM #5chief208Firehouse.com Guest
One of the first lessons I learned some 25 years ago was to vent over the seat of the fire. I guess I "vented" the other day, but not over the "seat". I am sorry if I was out of line.
What had me angry was the fact the the recent cut in funding has forced the Forest Service to make serious cut-backs. I understand stockpiled equipment was at a seriously low level, as well as available trained full time crews. This due to lawmakers reducinging funding necessary to maintain our natural resorces. The funding cuts over the years has now more than likely been exceeded by the cost of these fires. In addition, we have lost at least 6 brave firefighters in the process, along with how many homes.
The idea of a National mutual aid response system is EXCELLENT provided the government support is there to support and maintain it. Financialy, many small departments simply can't afford to equip for this type system.
I for one would be most willing to offer input from a small department stand point on a system that could work very well.
Again, I am sorry if I offended anyone, I just "vented" in the wrong area.
[This message has been edited by chief208 (edited August 15, 2000).]
08-16-2000, 12:21 PM #6SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
That's okay, Chief208. I like to vent as well and sometimes I do that improperly.
This country does indeed need a true national mutual aid system. Thanks for the input and support.
08-18-2000, 07:07 PM #7monteFirehouse.com Guest
I'm passing through on my way to another fire; but thought I'd take a minute to catch up. It's easy for us to lose track of what is really going on. We fight fire from the line/trenches, while others make BIG decisions that affect our lives. Like the MAC Groups (definition later)who have to set the priorities and make the resource allocations. That's what we are called, resources. We are people, with heart and superstitions that guide how we think. FEMA only has one purpose, that is to support during national emergencys. The other stuff is "good year" politics. Remember, when Congress cuts the budget, passes that on to the administrative units to manage, they in turn cut the operating budget, which means the firefighters and other worker ants get cut, or tour of duty reduced. Why does the budget get cut? Because it is a politically good thing to do because the taxpayer wants it. A bad cycle that is not built on well thought out direction and priorities. In a perfect world, homeowners would be well educated regarding wildfire potential, insurance companies and planning oversite would not allow anything but fire resistent homes, firefighters would be permanent positions that focus on ecosystem management. Thebottom line would be firefighters making good decisions on the fireline and not risking their lives for an empty structure. FEMA has nothing to do with the real issues.
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