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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Pennsylvania
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    Post Pennsylvania Referendum

    Now that Ed Rendell is ready to take office, and the people of Pennsylvania have overwhelmingly voted to pass the volunteer firefighters referendum, what has anyone heard about this plan. It will be up to Pennsylvania volunteers to make sure our leaders do not forget the mandate of the people. Let us use this forum to keep others up to date on news coming from Harrisburg.


  2. #2
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    We worked along with our State Senator Michael O'Pake prior to the election to help get the referendum passed. We even posed for pictures with him for a brochure HE handed out at the polls.

    However, for all his good work he told us that since it is non-binding referendum, Rendell is from a city with only paid firefighters, and the state school system (especially Philly) needs an overhaul, don't hold your breath.

    Even though Rendell talked a good program prior to the election we all know what his record was in Philly when it came to firefighters. They were on the bottom of the totem pole and as much as he said he admires the firefighters of the state we can't expect much. If you noticed during the campaign, any ads showing firefighters did not include any from Philly. Last I knew they didn't wear yellow gear.

    You're right though that it is now up to us to pressure our state reps and senators to move on the issue. Sending e-mails to all of them would be a good start.

    Last year I sent e-mails to all listed reps regarding a loophole in the workmens comp bill that excludes fire instructors. Most sent back thank you letters but I did get some that basically stated that since I wasn't from their district they didn't feel any obligation to me or my cause.

    So if you send a mass mailer to all at once make sure you mention how it will not only benefit your company but all firefighters across the Commonwealth.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  3. #3
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    Default

    Just out of curiosity, does anybody know what the population of Pennsylvania is, and also the number of firefighters in Pennyslvania?
    Any statements I have made are my statements, and my statements alone.

  4. #4
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Default

    Just checked the state's web site and the 2000 Census listed the population at 12,281,054.

    I tried the state fire academy's and the Fire Service Institute's sights but neither have any numbers listed.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  5. #5
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    Default

    If you guys want to know about size of our fire service, the state fire academy website does have the most recent report summarizing the same.
    http://www.osfc.state.pa.us/osfc/lib...stf_report.pdf

    try putting that into your browser and see what turns up. It is called "A study of volunteer fire and emergency medical services in PA." There is a link to the pdf document on the state fire commisioners website front page.

    According to the study, 73% of all fire depts in the commonwealth are all volunteer, another 15% are a mix paid/vollie type and the rest 12% are I am presuming paid depts.

    At present we have approx 2400 departments and 70,000 volunteers.

    That sounds like a lot, yet, in 1976 a similiar study called "Pennsylvania Burning", estimated we had 3000 departments and 300,000 volunteers. Thus, over that time period we were losing about 9,000 volunteers a year.

    Consolidation and regionalization efforts reduced the number of departments, but we are now less than 1/3 the membership strength of times past.

    The study makes for an interesting read. I shall otherwise reserve comment.

    The Captain
    If you can keep your head about you, while those around you are losing theirs, then you will be a man my son.

    Rudyard Kipling.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2000
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    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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    Post

    It most definately time to remind Rendell and the state reps about the mandate made in November. With the surplus that existed during the Ridge Schwieker admin. The Commonwealth's emergency response mechanism should have never fallen into disrepair, and all of these post 9/11 repairs are like trying to put a bandaid on someone thaht had their leg cut off. The state needs to realize that we as volunteers save the taxpayers billions of dollars every year by staying volunteer. Now it's time to spread the wealth our way.
    Shawn MacIntyre EMT
    Pittsburgh EMS EMT-2
    Fraternal Assoc. of Prof. Paramedics

  7. #7
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Default

    Shawn:

    It's interesting that you mention the Republican surplus because the first thing that Rendell said after taking office was that he had to work on the "huge deficit" that lay in front of him.

    It's typical of PA politics but every time a Republican leaves office with a surplus the Democrats see a deficit. Happened when Casey took over from Scranton Jr. and when Shapp followed Scranton Sr.

    It must be Democratic math because the same thing happened in Jersey with the recent change in Governor.

    ATTN DEMOCRATS: This is not a bash on the party and this is not the forum to debate party politics.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2000
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    Spring Glen, PA 17978
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    Default

    I urge you all to continue posting here and to also check www.centralpafire.com for a similar thread on their forums.
    We as a united fire service, out of concern for our communities and ourselves, need to let Harrisburg know what we feel. It is important, however, that we present a united voice and a clear message to what WE feel will benefit the fire service. Let's not allow well-meaning but misinformed lawmakers or those few dealers and manufacturers who only have their own interests at heart (not all dealers fall into that category!) form the new law.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2002
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    Presto, Pennsylvania
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    Exclamation

    Our local representative just faxed me 2 bills presented in the House. Both of them were pertaining to a grant program and had varying proposals. Unfortunately the paperwork is at the station and I don't have them in front of me. I know the one was sponsored by Solobay.

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