1. #1
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    Default Job Protection Law

    Here in Pennsylvania we have laws to protect firefighters in the instance they are late to work due to an incident response. My question is when are we going to pursue laws that allow volunteers to respond from their workplace without penalty?

    Daylight help seems to be one of the greatest concerns in our region. Our department could stand to gain 6-8 firefighters if they were permitted to leave their jobs. I don't expect anyone to pay us for time lost, but it would be nice to have the freedom to provide better daylight staffing. Thoughts? Ideas?

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    That is one of the problems with vollies everywhere. I know that my vollie ambulance service is lucky that some of our medics are permitted to leave work for a call. I don't think that any kind of law will come about for this purpose......but it would be nice if employers would allow it. However I sure don't see too many employers allowing that anytime soon.

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    Jeremy Culver
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    To add further....

    On 9/11 I watched the events unfold on T.V. and thought "My God if something were to happen nearby, I'd be stuck here at my job."

    So Mr. Ridge has developed the new color coding alert system, what does it mean to us, the responders? If we go to a red alert (which I assume we have on 9/11) what exactly happens? Shouldn't there be a staffing of all stations both paid and vollie? Are we going to ultimately allow employers to decide our response? Shanksville is not really all that far away from my home and reality says that flight could have gone down anywhere along its flight path that day. If government officials are coming up with alert plans, they'd better give them some bite so that the volunteer fire/rescue/EMS can staff themselves appropriately. Rural or urban...all of our families deserve the highest level of protection we can give them, whether it be in the midst of a national tragedy or during a single room and contents house fire.

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    Every community with a volunteer force gets the staffing they feel they need and can afford. If they truly feel they need more they will find a way to pay for it. It's not up to the private sector to subsidize the municipality by allowing you to take time off. If they are willing and able, that's great.

    Regarding your question about staffing all stations when Gov. Ridge declares a red day...You're kidding, right?

    _________DILLIGAF

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    Well one problem with that idea aobut vollie depts getting the staffing they need and raising the money for it. I just read on the homepage that FDNY is cutting back on FFs. If the biggest dept in the US can't afford to staff enough responders then how is small town USA supposed to do it. I'm not much on politics but I know that if any towm/municipality can save money by cutting back from Fire/EMS then they will do it. It seems that a least once a week I'm reading about someplace doing it. But of course......it doens't do any good to rant aobut it either.

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    Help our fellow firefighters.
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    I still think we sometimes look at things backward. When my car breaks down a mechanic will tell me how much it will cost to make the needed repairs. I will then decide if I am willing to pay that cost or do without the car. Same thing for fire protection. If the citizens want a full time paid department they will find the money to pay for that service. If the citizens feel a full time paid service is too costly they will not pay that price. If the citizens feel perfectly secure with an all volunteer force, and many do, that is the level they will pay for. Only when the CITIZENS feel the service is less than they desire will they increase the funding. If the city council cuts funding, the citizens can demand that funding be restored. That is why we have elections. To select the people that closest represent what we want. Little town or large town makes no difference. The CITIZENS should decide what they want.

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    The community with a volunteer force gets the staffing they need or can afford???

    So the private sector slams an outlet mall on property that used to be farmland and expects the rural department that has never in a million years anticipated covering such a structure to magically be able to provide daylight staffing for an adequate response to such a facility? I'd say that poor department isn't going to get the daytime staffing they need by relying on the few firefighters that happen to work midnight shift and are at home sleeping when the pager goes off. As for "they can afford"...Sure they can afford it if some of their daylight help could be shaken loose from their jobs. While it may not be up to the private sector to subsidize, they may wish to help us (the volunteer service) protect their interests and our own.

    As for the red alert day:

    1. How about a detailed notification spelling out exactly what is expected of emergency services as we progress through each level.

    2. If a red alert day means something is going down on a large scale in the United States...yes I am not ashamed to say I'd like to see some level of staffing at emergency centers. To compare, the time to react to a tornado is not when you see the thing coming over the hill. Preparations need to be made when the warning is issued for your area.

    Just my opinion...thanks for listening and stay safe.

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    A town with any common sense does not allow a commercial structure to be built that they cannot provide services to. If neither the town or the developer are willing to provide the resources (water, sewer, police, fire, etc.) it should never be built.

    While it may not be up to the private sector to subsidize, they may wish to help us (the volunteer service) protect their interests and our own.
    Or they may not. Ultimately it is the community's responsibility. I agree that there are a finite number of dollars available to towns. My town CHOOSES not to fund a career department. When a paid department is needed they (i.e. the citizens) will fund it.

    As far as the Tom Ridge coloring book...I think it's a joke and was trotted out to make it look like this latest level of beaurocracy is actually doing something with our tax dollars.
    _________DILLIGAF

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    Unfortunately there are townships lacking judgement and are permitting such structures to be built. It just amazes me that the citizens expect it to be protected without making any changes to help their fire/rescue service. In fact, they are offering huge tax abatements to attract such businesses which would imply the opposite.

    I agree with you on your Ridge views...but it would be nice of him to give us some sort SOP's to go along with his coloring book.


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    Stay-Back I don't think the community expects that type of building to be protected any better than they expect their home to be protected. Does that community know their department can't protect that type of structure? If not that department needs to inform the community of its limitations and not allow that community to have a false sense of security. What measures has the department taken to increase the level of protection they can provide to that type of structure? There are some ways a department can increase the protection without any cost to the department. Good code enforcement helps alot. Has the department tried to get a sprinkler ordinance put into effect? Is there a good inspection program in effect? Again let's let the community tell us what they expect and then we either convince them that is not good enough or live with their decision. Provide a service they will pay for.

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    Chief,

    I don't believe the township in question has any local codes at all. It's part of the attraction to the private sector. The example I raised isn't in my jurisdiction, thank goodness, so I really can't comment on what the home department has done in the way of change or advancement. They do a good job with what they have and I respect their efforts.

    I guess it would just be nice to have a few extra firefighters in the daytime. I see how there could be glitches, but it would be helpful to have some sort of protective leave for at least structure fires.
    Thanks for your input. Be safe out there.

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