I am doing writing a paper for a high school writing class on how people have taken emergancy personal for granted in the past and present. I am also including how it got better after Sept. 11 and how its already falling back to the way it was before. Being a cadet and spending much of my free time with the fire dept. I have many first hand accounts of how people once again seem to be taking emergancy personel for granted. I know that this is not true for all people, however the amount I see I think is too many. I would like to have this paper be as well rounded as possible so all views and opinos are more than welcome. I do appreciate your time very much and thank you. Gomer
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Thread: opoins needed for school proj.
02-14-2002, 02:54 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Cary, Illinois, USA
opoins needed for school proj.Cadet Gomoll
02-14-2002, 03:17 PM #2
On September 11th, a lot of people who regarded firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel as "schmucks" got a wake up call as to just who would risk their lives and pay the ultimate sacrifice to save their butts..it wasn't a $20 million a picture actor or a $10 million a season athlete. It wasn't a CEO of a Fortune 500 company... it was the firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel who rushed in as everyone else was rushing out. Without a doubt, the loss of life at the WTC and Pentagon would have been higher if it weren't for those protect and serve.
I feel that we still have the support of our citizens, and in order to keep it we have to stay proactive instead of reactive. There will be some that do forget, but it's our duty to remind everyone that we are the first line of defense whenit comes to disaster, whether it is natural or man made."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
02-14-2002, 03:24 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 1999
Gonzo, as usual you are right, ....but....
While I still feel that we have the support of the citizens, Town Management has put us right back into the schmuck category. In fact our Town Administrator was quoted as saying, " Its a money vs safety issue, and we need to be concerned about the money. " This was in reagards to cutting $150K out of the Chiefs budget, which would pay for station coverage when the ambulance is out. Yup, save $150 and send 1 guy out in a fire truck..........1710 and OSHA need not apply.
We have even taken some hits in the Editoral section of the paper over this, so maybe the citizens did forget.......or they simply think we are OK as long as we don't cost them too much money.
As the Gonzoman said, we need to be proactive and "educate" the public. Maybe if what we did was more clearly explained, they would understand why it has to cost so much money.
02-14-2002, 04:52 PM #4
Very true, Dave...
Most politicians think with their wallets instead of their heads. They tend to be penny wise, dollar foolish.
When a firefighter gets injured or God forbid becomes a LODD on a call because of inadequate manpower, the $150K the town administrator saved will look like 1 and half cents when the final dollar tally is made for personnel replacement, funeral expenses, potential lawsuits, etc.
Just curious, what is the breakdown of the HFD budget per tax bill (average) and per capita with the $150K in the Chief's budget broken down on a per day basis?"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
02-16-2002, 10:40 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Silver City, Oklahoma USA
Iím on a small rural volunteer department. We donít run that much. When we do, itís usually a working fireónot many false alarms out here in the sticks. We depend on subscriptions for service (memberships) to pay month-to-month bills, and we need grants or donations to cover everything else. Our existence depends on our public image.
That being said, weíve found that about 5% of the people in our district actively support our department, either through volunteering, promoting the department to others, or just with their checkbook. Another 5% wouldnít say a good thing about us if we parked an engine in their driveway 24/7 and cooked their meals for them. The remaining 90% donít like us or dislike usóthey just pay their dues. They donít think about us, that is, unless they need usóand then they expect the fire trucks to show up and solve their problems.
I donít think many people in our district take us for granted, but they just donít think about us. Sure, they may hear the trucks go by at 2300, but then they roll over and go back to sleep. Or, they may pull over to let an engine pass them on the way to a call, but then their mind is back to getting to work, or picking the kids up from school.
Emergency personnel, and firefighters in particular, have been put on a pedestal since September 11óbut weíve been here before. Remember the WTC bombing in 1993? How about the Oklahoma City bombing? How about Worchester? May 3, 1999 tornadoes in Moore? How about all the acts of bravery and selflessness that happen every day all across America that only matter to the people in some small town that the rest of us (much less the general public) will never hear about?
My point is, our image in the public eye is elevated all the time. The support wanes after time, as it will again as September 11 passes farther into the past unless we actively try to keep that level of respect.
I believe that the amount of respect and support a department receives from the public can be directly related to the amount of work the department puts into their own image. The little VFD in the country might be the best department in the world, but if the firefighters sit around guzzling beer with the bay doors open, John Q. Public isnít going to remember what the ISO rating is. Likewise, a large municipal department might make heroic saves every day, but if they show up to a scene acting like their time is being wasted, what happens to their image?
Itís a long postÖsorry about that. But it seems as if many firefighters and departments are fine with riding the coattails of goodwill from situations like 9-11, and then are content to gripe about the lack of respect/funding/etc they get when they arenít doing much to improve their own situation.Bryan Beall
Silver City, Oklahoma USA
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