I have been following events in Buffalo,NY as a result of that city's financial crisis and find the tragic results of Mayor Masiello's rotational closing of city firehouses for a day at a time not only appalling, but in excusable, in light of the news report of a man dying in a fire in his home because the fire station only a block from his home was closed at the time and a company from a more distant company had to take the call. It seems to me that the Buffalo Fire Department has been getting the screws put to them for far too long. What Mayor Masiello is doing is not only endangering the lives of city residents, but firefighters as well. Though I am about to start training as a volunteer firefighter in my home town of Perry,NY, I make it a point to keep well informed on area news, particularly when politicians' hanky panky affects the fire service. How many more people in Buffalo have to die in fires before Mayor Masiello gets the message. It makes my blood boil that politicians can get away with such things as playing Russian Roulette with people's lives as Buffalo's Mayor seems to be doing with his fire department. What will be next, two men to a pumper in Buffalo? Frankly, I could not come up with a better way to get people killed than shortstaffing the fire department. It is my opinion that the Buffalo firefighters and the people they are sworn to protect launch a drive to remove Mayor Masiello from office in Buffalo. To me, he is precisely the opposite of New York's Rudy Guiliano, who justleft office and had the guts to rise to the occasion in the wake of 9-11, I very much fear Buffalo's mayor will cower instead. I wonder how many other departments in the US are getting it stuck to them by know it all politicans who really know nothing at all? I am aware of the dangers inherant to firefighting and I certainly have no desire to pay with my life for some politician's stupidity as has recently happened in Buffalo, NY. If it can happen in Buffalo, it can happen anywhere.. Shortstaffing of fire departments must be stopped by whatever legal means is necessary. Masiello of Buffalo does not seem to realize that it does not take much to wipe out an entire engine company or ladder company crew in a conflagration, such as fueled by Natural Gas explosions back in the 1980s. That should be a message to all politicians who get any cute ideas of shafting their fire departments, either paid, or volunteer. The consequences of such follies say it all.
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03-05-2002, 09:37 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
Fire Russian Roulette In Buffalo, NYJim Mancuso
03-05-2002, 12:36 PM #2
Nice post and very much an important issue. If he wanted to the mayor could find a way to keep things open. What was the Union/Local IAFF involvement... Did they lobby? (by the way...I believe if you check back...it was an LPG (propane) explosion in the 80's)
This same thing happens all across the county and in a lot of cases....goes unnoticed and is accepted. The fire service on a whole should be working to stop actions like this.
This is totally a different forum, but a prime example of how the IAFF should focus on critical things instead of the enforcement of Resolution 43 (or whatever the number is???)
Good luck09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
"Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
03-05-2002, 02:18 PM #3
How often do we see this happen in the police department. People can't go without cops everywhere, a crime may occur. Firefighters, who needs them? Nothing will happen until the firefighters are ready and sitting in my driveway.
Where do people get this attitude, and how do politicians choose who has a better chance to live? We always here them talking about the ISO ratings, but then they close firehouses. It all boils down to money. WE CAN'T PAY OVERTIME! OH MY GOD, SAVE THE MONEY. WHO CARES IF SOMEONE DIES! It does not occur to them when someone dies that it was there fault, they will blame the fire department for not doing their job.
Luckily our department has not started closing firehouse, but I can see it coming. They already will not call in a medic for OT on the ambulance, they will call the emt to staff the medic engine and pull that medic to the bus. So now, instead of having two separate medics spread out, the have one. ALS cannot be provided as quickly has could have to save some money.
Who knows if this will ever end, I doubt it. It seems to me that tis is a viscious circle.
03-05-2002, 03:57 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2000
- Crowley, LA
The IAFF local should sit down and see how many times the station that is first due at the mayor's house has been closed. Also, how does closing stations affect homeowners insurance, or the city's overall insurance. If homeowners find that it will affect them in the pocket book, then they may take action towards city hall. People still have that "it won't happen to me" attitude.Craig Walker
Union Strong...Union Proud
An Irishman is the only person in the world who would walk over 12 naked women to get to a bottle of Stout.
03-05-2002, 04:26 PM #5
What will be next, two men to a pumper in Buffalo?
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
The quint-midi system, and folks from Rochester should correct me if I'm wrong, basically saves money for the city by reducing manpower. Rather than the traditional engine and truck, both staffed by four firefighters, it employs quints and mid-size pumpers. The quints can be used as an engine or a truck and are staffed by four firefighters, but the middies are staffed by only two. The savings come in less manpower to staff the middies. I know the Buffalo fire union is loudly raising concerns about this system and actively looking at other ways to save the city money, such as merging operations with neighboring Lackawanna. I hope things work out and that there aren't permanent fire company closings coming like I fear there are.
03-05-2002, 05:47 PM #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
I wish the brothers from Buffalo the best in their fight to maintain their dept. as is. The mayor should look at new ways to reinvent and market the city to make it more attractive to business and people who would like to live in a city. Providence was dying 12 years ago then the new mayor,(who was mayor for ten years before) came in and transformed the city into an attractive destination for tourists, conventioneers, yuppies, and businesses. The downtown area was a ghost
town now it thrives with culture, business, and attractions. This rebirth staved off potential financial ruin. So instead of cutting NECESSARY services that protect the taxpayers from harm, the mayor of Buffalo should come up with an alternative plan to better the city. When you start cutting vital services to balance the books it seems to me that you have given up on the very city that you have been elected to improve!
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