Thread: Grant scoring
09-23-2002, 08:58 AM #26
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- Mayfield NY
I guess my question comes down too this. Does department size and call volume mean anyting? Does the size of the membership mean anything in volunteer departments? How much weight is given to the age of the equipment? Some things I can't change, Number of calls, number of people in the district, size of the district, etc. Do these things matter and by how much?
09-23-2002, 10:27 AM #27
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
OOPS, I misspelled a word
I left an M off of any. It was supposed to say many. I know that large departments were not excluded, but it does appear, according to the grant lists, that large departments are at a disadvantage. Just be cause a department is large doesn't mean that we are immune to the problems of smaller departments. Our problems are just larger than theirs are. We still have the same staffing issues that they have, the same equipment issues that they have. It just cost us a lot more money to solve that issue. For instance, we just had to replace our Breathing apparatus 3 years ago. We received around 400 Apparatus with an extra 200 bottles. We spent several million just to replace those bottles. Our vehicle fleet was aging very quick, to replace our fleet will cost us over 15 million. We are at least 150 personell below where we should be at. Were talking now in the range of $60k per person just to hire them.
These problems are rampant across the whole United States and Canada. The problem is that for too many years from the President all the way down to the Local Governments have had the mentality that to fix public safety the answer was to fund police with more and more money. Now the time has come that Fire Departments cannot continue to operate at the same level of funding that we did 10 years ago and still provide adequate protection to the public first and foremost, nor can we provide equal protection for our own brothers.
The problem isn't Large Department specific,it is globally for all departments. I just returned from the IAFF conference in Las Vegas, I talked to people from all over the US and Canada. Our problems are very similiar, the only differences is how we arrived at the current state of crisis. It's time for the local governtments to stop asking fire departments to do more with less. We can't do more with less. We can't keep adding task to fire fighters without giving them the proper training and equipment to do more with. That all costs more money.
I can't speak for everyone, but my department has almost exactly the same amount budgeted for it this year as it did 10 years ago when I hired on. That includes the raises that I've gotten since then, the rise in the cost of benefits and the rise in the cost of equipment. We cannot continue in this trend without paying for it dearly sometime in the future. We are running apparatus short on a daily basis. It was common 10 years ago to have a 5 person engine and a 4 or 5 person Ladder. Now days it's 3 and 3 sometimes, most times actually. Double houses with 6 people.
Enough of me on my soap box; I guess I just needed a moment to vent. Hopefully the amount of money provided for the fire service will increase over the next few years.
Just for the record, I don't fault Bush for vetoing the bill that was giving extra money for the Fire Grant. The pork surrounding that bill was ludicrous. I wish all of you well and hope that each of you who did get grants spend that money wisely, because you neve know when politicians may cut off that funding.
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