08-20-2000, 07:43 AM #1chief208Firehouse.com Guest
Wayne township VFD Indianapolis IN
Can anyone tell me what is going on in Wayne Township, Marion county Indiana? They went from one of the largest all vol depts in the country to career in Jan. of this year.Why???
08-20-2000, 10:06 AM #2F02Firehouse.com Guest
Don't have any inside info chief.From the outside it looked like a power struggle between the township trustee and the chief.Guess the chief lost.
08-20-2000, 10:40 PM #3Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
Pollitics I'm Sure with out a doubt in my mind --- Maybe they had a staffing problem ? I read an article a while back and if I remember correctly the switch-over occured because of staffing and the high number of responses was burning the Volunteers Out although I can't confirm this...I'll try and dig out the article as soon as I remember where I read it --- I Save most all articles on items like this --
08-21-2000, 12:17 AM #4Capt. ZadaFirehouse.com Guest
The Townhip Trustee died. He was a former President and long time Treasurer of the State Volunteer Fire Fighter's Assn. In other words, he was one of us.
His replacement was a former career fire fighter from the city of Indianapolis.
That is the major reason that the change was made so rapidly. Instead of a gradual program to go paid.
I was very well acquainted with the deceased Trustee. He supported the vollies and provided the funding that made Wayne what it was.
I'm not saying that the change was good or bad. They seem to have the bucks to support a career crew.
08-21-2000, 09:28 PM #5chief208Firehouse.com Guest
Sounds like the big loosers in this deal are the taxpayers. It is a crime to place 300-400 hundred trained volunteers out=0f=service due to politics and bull-headiness.
Maybe the possibility of a combo department should have been explored a little closer.
What has happened to the stations, equipment, and Chief Curl?
[This message has been edited by chief208 (edited August 21, 2000).]
08-25-2000, 12:16 AM #6Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
There was no power struggle. The simple fact is the volunteer department was not staffing the equipment. Where were the 300-400 so called members? How many of the 300-400 so called members lived out of state? The volunteer department had a budget as large as another paid department in the same county, so why not go paid? Most of the existing volunteers want Curl out of the picture, but he will not go. Going paid in Wayne Township is the best thing that has ever happened to the taxpayers who live there. They are finally getting the manpower and equipment they deserve.
08-25-2000, 12:22 AM #7Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
Not to start an argument by any means...but were the Volunteers of Wayne Twp. Given a chance to rectify their staffing problems or were they simply thrown out ? And did anyone ever consider a combination department where vollies and career guys could work together ? I Came from a combination department several years ago in NJ that eventually went all paid except for one station which now is hardly ever dispatched even in thier own local --- Pollitics played a big role in that one ...
08-25-2000, 12:37 AM #8Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
They are using the volunteers to help with staffing. I guess you can say they are a combo department. They give the volunteers the first opportunity to go paid. I'm sure they will be a fully paid department as soon as they hire enough people. The important thing is everything is now staffed and responding that is suppose to be.
08-25-2000, 07:17 AM #9ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
Brian, how long should an area put up with staffing problems. I don't know the specifics of Wayne's staffing, but if a municipality has the funds to properly staff equipment then they should.
We are here to serve the public, our jobs are getting more complex every year. How can an individual who works 40+ hours a week at whatever keep up with everything that a firefighter is required to know: firefighting, Haz Mat, confined space, water rescue, rope rescue, extrications both auto and machinery. Can he do it by attending one three hour drill a week? I doubt it.
Don't misunderstand me, without volunteers or paid on call most of the country wouldn't have fire protection. (geographically not population) If a town can, then they should hire a completly or as much as they can full time staff.
Simply put all volunteer departments can't provide the same level of protection as a paid department. Would I miss my part time job if they replaced me with a full timer, sure, but in the long term it would be better for the community.
Good luck and serve you community, don't give them a reason to replace you. I think you can appreciate that comment.
08-25-2000, 08:51 AM #10F02Firehouse.com Guest
There was no power struggle? Seems like I remember a "discussion" in the Star about who owned the trucks. Did'nt sound like the transition was real smooth.
08-25-2000, 09:47 AM #11Lt OvermyerFirehouse.com Guest
They are a combo department for now. I agree that if you have the money to go paid, then do it. This is not about volunteers or paid, this is about providing a service that can be relied upon to respond in an efficient manner and do the job professionally.
It is a shame that it could not of been a smoother transition, but you still will have your arguments about going to paid.
Good luck to the Wayne Twp. Fire Department. May God keep you safe.
Lt. Brett J Overmyer
Carmel Fire Department
This is my opinion and not the opinions of the Carmel Fire Department.
[This message has been edited by Lt Overmyer (edited August 25, 2000).]
08-25-2000, 02:33 PM #12Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
There was alot of discussion on who owns the trucks. The volunteer chief said he would not turn the trucks and stations over to the paid department. After all the battles, bickering and threatened lawsuits, it looks like the trustee won the war. I don't know the specifics on the contract between the paid and volunteers. I do know everything was settled before Janurary 1st. That was the date the paid department was to start.
08-25-2000, 08:05 PM #13F02Firehouse.com Guest
Paid or Volunteer I think sometimes we need to step back,let a little air out of our egos and ask whats best for the citizens.
08-25-2000, 09:23 PM #14Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
I think that question was asked to the citizens. With the exception of the few hard core volunteer supporters, the taxpayers seemed happy that they were getting a paid staff.
08-27-2000, 12:07 AM #15chief208Firehouse.com Guest
My guess is that you are a career firefighter with the great city of Indianapolis. I have a great deal of respect for the IFD as I am a former resident of Indiana.
Your opitimal staffing on your ladder is probabbly 4. If someone is sick, on vacation, off due to other family emergencies, I guess you run one or two short on your truck, or take it out of sevice all together.
I just cannot understand this Carreer vs Volunteer issue.
The volunteers are not out for your jobs, they simply wish to serve their communities in a meaningful way.
As Chief of a small Volunter Department, I would welcome career staffing to suppliment our daytime volunteers, however our budget just won't allow it.
In most cases my job won't allow me to respond from work. When the whistle blows as 2:00 P.M., I know that at best, we will have three or four people respond.
Automatic aid is a "givin" here. We, as well our neighboring city, can not do it alone. Thank goodness we work well together, and are doing more towards joint training and community involvement to better relationships.
Would your job not be eaisier and mayby safer if you had one or two other trained firefighters on board when you left the the house?
Has the Wayne Twp VOLUNTEER Fire Department ever responded to Indianapolis to assist at a fire?
The vollies will never take the place of career staffingin a larger city, and a city will never properly fund a fire department to properly staff their units. Check out the NFPA report on Keokuk (sp) IA. If there had been a properly trained paid on call or volunteer force to supliment the on duty staff, would the outcome have been different?
Volunteer or paid on call firefighters will always be around, and could be an asset in even our largest cities.
[This message has been edited by chief208 (edited August 27, 2000).]
08-27-2000, 03:33 PM #16Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
First off your the one who asked what happened to The Wayne Township Fire Dept. I'm sorry if you don't like what you read but it's all true. Your also the only one who's turned this into a paid vs volunteer issue.
I've gone back and read all the posts on this issue, and have not found any reference of volunteer bashing. My biggest point was, and still is, if they had 300 - 400 dedicated members on the volunteer department, then they would not have a staffing problem.
The simple fact of the matter is they had staffing problems. Wayne Township has the second largest run volume in Marion County. IFD has the largest. When your that busy you must to have your apparatus staffed. They have a budget that enables them to have a paid staff. That is the direction the trustee chose.
Yes, IFD has called on Wayne in the past, and yes they have showed up with less manpower than they should. It also should be noted that the Wayne volunteer chief would not sign any mutual aid agreement with IFD. They would call upon fire departments outside the county before they would call IFD for help.
It doesn't matter if the reasons were political or personal, it's just wrong. All the other township departments in Marion County run mutual aid with IFD.
Since Wayne's big change over to a paid staff, they have been dual responding with IFD, and the other township departments without incident. Yes a few of the people on the rigs are volunteers, but no one cares. The important thing is they are now staffing the apparatus as they should.
You are correct on one matter, I am a career fireman. I was also a volunteer for several years. I'm the last person who would ever bash volunteers. Given the chance I would volunteer again.
The bottom line is, there is a place for volunteers. But when the situation dictates otherwise, sometimes change is the only option.
[This message has been edited by Ladder Man (edited August 28, 2000).]
08-27-2000, 11:13 PM #17Jason PickeringFirehouse.com Guest
I think that it's great they went paid!!! My department is a single house with enough equipment for 2 stations. We have 2 ENG, 2 ALS AMBO'S, 1 TANKER, 1 BRUSH, 1 HEAVY SQUAD, 1 LIGHT SGUAD. We run about 600 fire runs and about 900 ems runs a year we have 6 full time medics, full time chief, and about 10 part time Engineers and emt's. We have a Engineer to drive the first out engine 2 days a week from 7-3 and when not on a call he or she does normal house duties just like the full timers. Some times during the day "WHEN MOST VOLLIES WORK" It's hard to get a engine out the door staffed to NFPA regs. And that is how our brothers and sisters die. People need to quit belly aching about response times from a vol. dept. If they don't want to pay a few extra dollars a year to maybe save thier house. The five minutes it takes a vol. to respond to the sta. get geared up and get on the truck, that simple room and contents fire just turned into a fully involved working fire. Think about it for a minute do you know how big Wayne Twp. really is? I don't think so if you are seriously asking why a dept with the tax basis that they have went to a combo dept. combo dept's are a great idea. I is a starting base to see if paid firefighters will work in thier comunities.
My views on topics does not in any way reflect the views of the South Haven Fire Dept.
08-28-2000, 12:52 PM #18chief208Firehouse.com Guest
Sorry if I said somthing that upset you. I sometimes don't express myself very well in print.
If they had staffing problems that resulted in responding under staffed units, then by all means they needed to do somthing to correct that. There is also no excuse for a Chief not to sign a Mutual Aid Agreement with a neighboring Dapartment. Sounds as though he may have felt threatned by the career departments.
My point is, we need to look at 24X7 staffing of all units and stations.
If that needs to be done with career and volunteer staffing, then so be it. If it can be done with all career staffing, so be it also.
The needs of the community should be PRIORITY ONE. Responding from home to the station and then to the scene does indeed waste valuable minutes that can make the difference.
In small communities such as mine, we need to find a way to support and fund a career staff during the day when most volunteers are at their regular jobs. But you have to admit, that even in larger cities, career deprartments do run short on manpower.
If there was a paid on call, or volunteer pool to call upon to fill these vancancies would it not be of some benefit?
Again, it looks as if a stubborn Chief and bullheaded pollition ran head-on, and it is hard to say who won, lost, of just broke even
I want to take this opportunity to nationally say I am sorry if I stepped out of line and offended you. You seem like an upstanding firefighter, and my intent was never to offend you in any way.
08-28-2000, 02:59 PM #19Ladder ManFirehouse.com Guest
None taken chief208.... BE SAFE!
09-24-2000, 04:53 AM #20dfc18Firehouse.com Guest
As a former member of WTFD This has been a long time coming. It was a very bumpy road to change this department over to paid but it has worked as now response times and staffing are better as for getting rid of the volunteers that did not happen some were hird full time and most now do paid stby and it works quite well. I do miss the old department but change is non stoppable and we just have to make it as smooth as possible
09-27-2000, 10:50 PM #21ffengFirehouse.com Guest
Let's be careful about the comments that going paid solves all the problems. Outside of the very large or very dense urban areas of this country, it is very common place for the mid to small paid depts to run 3 or 2 or even 1 person staffing on a truck. One dept I know very well used to run with 6 engines and 2 ladders with 1 FF a piece and a shift Capt and 2 FF in a Suburban. First alarm 3 engines and ladder got you 6 FFs and an officer. They recently reorganized and now run only 4 engines and a ladder normally staffed with 2 FF/piece. First alarm gets you 2 engines and a ladder gets you the same 6 FF and an officer. If you do the research, you will see that only the large dense, cities like the NYC's, Boston's, Chicago's, etc. have dense enough populations to support 4 and 5 man staffing and short response times. Outside of those type cities, sure, trucks roll and everything looks good, but what's really there? It's too bad that Keokuk hasn't got the same attention that Worcester has. Not that many communities have the fire risk/100 yr. old abandoned structures that Worcester does, but almost everybody has a potential Keokuk.
Keokuk really shows why the US has such a poor fire death record. We often don't have the building construction and fixed protection to prevent or stop such fires and there's no way that most communities can afford to have the paid staffing to get fully staffed, mutliple rigs to the scene before flashover.
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