04-13-2001, 05:41 PM #1FireWood1Firehouse.com Guest
Vollies: Are you in this for the right reason?
Once again, I'm here with a general question poll. I really enjoy being a Vollie, and I think that in this "Profession" you can find a type of brotherhood that is not matched anywhere else. But I do have one question, and I'm hoping for some feedback. Has anyone ever had a problem with having too much equipment on there dept? We have a dept with only 24 members, and we've got so much equipment that we can't really handle it.(maintenance, staffing, certifications) I've noticed that for some folks, it's like this is just an opportunity for them to buy "toys" that they can't afford on there own. We recently had a couple fellas manage to convince city hall to pay for ice rescue equipment and a Zodiack. But only two members of the dept are willing to learn how to use it. AND, we already had a john boat for water rescue. Keep in mind that ice rescue calls are few and far between around here. We've spent thousands and thousands on "stuff" that I don't think we need. Shouldn't we become proficient in what we have before we buy new stuff? And should we spend thousands of dollars on something that only 2 members of the dept are willing to learn how to operate? Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem.
04-13-2001, 11:09 PM #2APG1Firehouse.com Guest
One of things you might need to remember about Government and money is, they like to spend it. Rarely does government 'save'. If the money isn't spent, it goes to someone else. Do you want your department funds cut and given to the Police? Or the sewer department? Just a thought.
04-14-2001, 01:33 AM #3firefighter26Firehouse.com Guest
Paperwork burnout is our problem. We are all volunteers and the district office is so out of touch that they have actually phoned us to find out the address to hall is (three times now!!!)
Volunteers can only volunteer so much. Sometimes I wonder if I volunteer to sign papers or to save lives and property within my community.
04-14-2001, 07:08 PM #4Deputy Dog DashwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Well if you have nice trucks and good turnout gear and know the basics then you need somebody to get the rest of the team motivated to learn new stuff. If the one day you need that gear that you have just bought and it saves somebodys life you can't put a price tag on that. In my hall we have alot of money too we just bought a new engine for $320 000.00 cash and an addition to the hall soon. we only do 40-50 calls a year, whats wrong with having alot of gear as long as you train for it and if you need it it is there! You should be happy to have lots of money some halls don't have that option, use or loose it and don't waste it on stupid stuff either! start with the basics and spend from there... you should feel lucky! We have 4 trucks a very nice hall that is paid for and soon 4 trucks and 22 proud members! who all give 110% we are paid on call,officers are paid a small check every month, new MSA air packs next year, we are reciving new gear and extras all the time, extra events,we take our fire fighters out for formal dinners to say thanx, training out the waaazuuu, all paid for milage for traveling to training courses so look at where you could be beter spending the money as well. look to helping the fire fighters out as well. Any questions E mail me. I'll help you out.
FYT FYR FOREVER
04-16-2001, 10:07 AM #5NCRSQ751Firehouse.com Guest
I also wouldn't be so quick to judge the purchase of the equipment you mentioned. A john boat is only good for some water situations, a zodiak is good for others and a lot lighter.
You may not have ice rescues all that much, but if you have one who is going to do it?
If you have the money and have people willing to learn then don't begrudge them that.
Also remember that good toys are a draw for new members and what volunteer organization doesn't need those?
Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
Griffith Volunteer FD
04-17-2001, 11:37 PM #6cfr3504Firehouse.com Guest
Be grateful that you have the funding available to get "toys". Imagine yourself in my situation, right now, I'm in the process of sending letters out to area merchants asking for donations of basic tools to put on our Rescue, becacause we just don't have the money to properly equip it on our own. Extra equipment???? That would be a god send to us. Our tanker is a 1973 converted oil truck, worn out when we got it , and honestly dangerous to be on the road. Our 2nd run ambulance still has a Heartstart 2000 AED on it. Because we can't afford to buy another one. Sorry to give you all of this sob story, but honestly if you've got more equipment than you are using, by all means send it my way, I can use it. Like has been said before, it is better to have and not need, than need and not have, trust me I know! Try beating open a door an an MVA with a flat axe, because your 25 year old Hurst tool failed you. Oh well I'll get off my soap box now, but if you want to get rid of your excess stuff, drop me a line! I can honestly say that I've never been in a situation with TOO MUCH equipment, that's only a dream to us, but if having this equipment will retain members for you be keeping intrest and possibly attract new ones, isn't it worth it? Not to mention how priceless it can be if you use it only once, but that once is the difference between life and death! Stay safe everyone and remember that we are all in the together!
04-18-2001, 03:54 PM #7alexff67Firehouse.com Guest
The situation you are is is great, enjoy it. Most Vollie Depts have to do a lot of fundraising just to get the basics. If someone will give you the toys just say thanks and if that new eqipment is used only once and it saves a life its was well worth having. stay safe
Put The Wet Stuff on The Red Stuff
04-18-2001, 09:29 PM #8FireWood1Firehouse.com Guest
'Nough said. I guess I never thought about the dept's that couldn't afford a new hurst tool, let alone having to use an axe for extrication. To be honest, I admire you folks for the work you do with limited resources. I wish you luck.
04-20-2001, 08:40 AM #9IslanderFirehouse.com Guest
If you use that zodiac just once to safe a life then your "toy" has more then paid for itself. You never know what you'll need until you get there. Of course we all must be accountable to whomever pays the bills.
04-25-2001, 03:46 AM #10alpha192Firehouse.com Guest
I understand the felling of "oh my, do we NEED that?" An old high school buddy who
is a Captain in a less fortunate department keeps telling me that "you have stupid
money!" i.e.: we have the money so lets buy that gadget, or this widget.
When I get that feeling I just think back a couple of years ago when we built a bunk
house during a $1.2 million station renovation. After its completion, we started having
duty ****s. 10 PM to 6 AM. About 1 month after the shifts started, we had a
living room fire in a college student apartment building. The 1st engine and truck
arrived on scene within 3 mints of the call. During their primary search of the fire
apartment, the truck crew pulled ut 2 college girls. Would those girls be alive today if
the first 2 rigs had to weight 5+ minuets for firefighters to respond from home? I think
the cost of the renovations were paid IN FULL that night. with change.
05-25-2001, 08:00 PM #11SkarenFirehouse.com Guest
I am so jealous. Our newest fire truck is a 1980, our newest rescue truck 1975, our newest ambulance 1990. We can barely get enough together to pay to heat bill for the winter. Our department operates on 17,000 a year. Our fuel bill alone is about 1000 dollars a month in the winter, and winter is longggggggggg here. We don't get to buy extra stuff very often, but every now and then God smiles on us with a donation of money, services or equipment. Count your blessings my friend! Hey if you need to get rid of any of your excess stuff, give me a call, I will take it off your hands.
Good Post, thanks ~Karen EMT/FF
05-26-2001, 06:03 AM #12ArmyTruckCompanyFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with firewood1- Volunteer overspending is a rampant problem....especially here in Southeast Pa. Companies paying 400,000 for a new pumper, to replace one that is 8 years old and has 10,000 miles on it......rediculous.....and it's all their money..not a budget allowance from the town!!!
"Loyalty above all else, except honor."
05-28-2001, 07:50 PM #13xchief9bFirehouse.com Guest
Skaren: Your type department is the reason for the federal grant program, those with serious needs. I only hope you got the request in and it gets filled before the "haves" get theirs.
Army: Where's that recipe you promised?
05-29-2001, 12:40 AM #14DON DELANCEYFirehouse.com Guest
LIKE CFR3504 SAID ITS BETTER TO HAVE IT AND NOT NEED IT THAN TO NOT HAVE AND BE IN NEED OF IT. I BELONG TO A VOLLY DEPT. IN CENTRAL ALBERTA CANADA WHERE WE ARE TOTALY TAX BASE FUNDED. WE HAVE A CHIEF THAT IS VERY ARTICULATE AT STATING HIS CASE TO THE CITY FATHERS WHEN IT COMES TIME TO PURCHASE NEW APPARATUS OR EQUIPMENT. HAVING SAID THAT I ADD THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF NICE NEW EQUIPMENT AND THE EQUIPMENT THAT IS OLD IS IN TOP NOTCH SHAPE.IF THERE IS A NEED FOR SOME EQUIPMENT THEN WE GET IT BY JUSTIFYING IT.LIKE HAS BEEN ALREADY SAID THAT IF THAT PIECE OF EQUIP. SAVES A LIFE THEN IT IS JUSTIFYIED IN HAVING AND THEREFORE YOU CANT PUT A PRICE ON IT. I LOOK AROUND AT SMALLER LESS FORTUNATE DEPT. THAT I HAVE BEEN TO AND SEE THE SAD STATE OF CONDITION THAT SOME OF THERE EQUIP. IS IN AND I TRULY FEEL DISMAYED AND ALSO FEEL A GREAT DEAL OF ANGER TOWARD THE POLITICIANS THAT HOLD THE PURSE STRINGS SO TIGHT THAT THEY PUT THERE VOLLYS IN PERIL EVERY TIME THEY GO OUT THE DOORS OF THIER CRAMPED DINGY FIRE HALLS. TO THE FELLOW WHO FEELS THAT HIS DEPT. HAS TO MANY "TOYS" THINK OF THOSE POOR BROTHERS WHO ARE A LOT LESS FORTUNATE, AND THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR WHAT HE HAS AND USE IT IN GOOD HEALTH.
05-29-2001, 11:27 PM #15570eckFirehouse.com Guest
I'm in it for the chicks. Yeah, soon the chicks will be all over me. This week I'm gonna wear my good T-shirt to bingo that will impress them.
06-02-2001, 01:57 AM #16Westlake23Firehouse.com Guest
I agree with army, all of our trucks may be old, but they get the job done. More than enough times. I don't think any of our trucks are newer than 1980.
This is what we have sitting in our stations:
1964 Ford C-550 rescue truck
1964 Ford C-800 Pumper
1979 Ford C-8000 Pumper (primary unit, 1,000 gpm w/1,000 gal tank)
Ford L-750 Tanker (2,000 gal)
1979 Ford F-750 Pumper
1979 Ford F-700 Tanker (1500 gal)
International Cargomaster pumper (1,000 gpm)
Two med units:
1986 Ford F-350
1993 Ford E-350
The ambulances don't belong to the Fire Department, but our EMS department. All volunteer.
[This message has been edited by Westlake23 (edited 06-02-2001).]
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