1. #1
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    Default Can't we do something?

    [RANT]

    It irritates me to no end (and I'm sure all of you as well) hearing of Fire Departments closing, budgets being cut so far that only two men are going out on an engine, excercise equipment being removed from departments... what's next? Are they going to take away the ladder trucks since there's the old reliable extension ladder?

    Maybe this isn't my place to gripe since I'm not yet on a department, but by god when I do get on with one, I want to be able to help people. Of all the things in the world to cut corners on, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SHOULD NOT BE ONE OF THEM!!! When the world is on fire around you, the ONE PERSON you can count on for help is a firefighter. So why are firefighters the ones to first be penalized?!?!? You'd think with all the threats of terrorism, the US Government (as well as those abroad) would be pouring money into Fire and Police departments to help protect THIS country... not offering $20-billion to other countries for aid. Imagine what half of that would do for the fire service!!!

    I've never really been one to make a lot of noise, but this has got to stop. Even if I never make it on to a department, I want to know that my family and myself are going to be protected well. With that being said, isn't there something that can be done to really change things around?

    [END RANT]

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    Unfortunately the Federal Government is only concentrating on the preventive aspect of the post 9-11 world. They don't realize that no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, the terrorist will find a way to attack us again. The fire / ems service is then left with the same antiquated equipment and sub-standard training to clean up the mess. Once and attack has occurred we become the front line.

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    Exclamation CrossBro1 - may I add 1 word......

    Originally posted by CrossBro1
    Unfortunately the Federal Government is only concentrating on the preventive aspect of the post 9-11 world. They don't realize that no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, the terrorist will find a way to attack us again. The fire / ems service is then left with the same antiquated equipment and sub-standard training to clean up the mess. Once and attack has occurred we become the front line.
    Most heartily agree with CrossBro1 above, but may I suggest.
    Change the peiod after "once the attck has occurred we become the front line, AGAIN!

    BE SAFE OUT THERE

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    Default

    The local, city state and federal governments are well aware of who and what firefighters are.

    We are a breed of men and women who would fight a fire armed with a Dixie cup of water and a toothpick, if we had to. We can yell and scream all we want about our equipment and training. We can tell them we are not equipped to handle a CNB attack. We can tell them our manning is not enough. We can scream these things 'til we're blue.

    One thing is certain:

    When the alarm sounds, we'll go, taking what we have and using what we know. We'll do our best, some of us will die, not all victims will be saved, some property will be lost and at some point, the fire will go out, as it always has.

    You want change? Make the changes once a year when you pull the lever or punch out the "Chad".

    If all the firefighters in this country voted for the same candidates and issues every time we entered the booth. We would be a voting block that couldn't be ignored.

    When the politicians start thinking, "if I screw them, I'm out of a job" instead of, "Ah, they'll turnout for every job even if we give them nothing" then and only then, will we see some change.

    Somebody post a number here. How many of us are there in the USofA? I think it's time for a PAC meeting.

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    Default Chew on this....

    (These data come from the USFA Study "A Needs Assesment of the US Fire Service")

    There are just over ONE MILLION active firefighters in the US. Just over 750,000 are volunteers, and of those, around 275,000 protect communities of under 2,500 populaiton.

    In communities with less than 2,500 population, 21% of fire departments deliver an average of 4 or fewer firefighters to a mid-day fire.

    An estimated 73,000 fireifghters serve in fire departments that protect communites of over 50,000 population (a USFA "breaking point" between volunteer and career depts), and have fewer than four career firefighters assigned to first-due engine companies.

    An estimated 233,000 firefighters are involved in structural firefighting, but lack formal training in those duties. (Most of these are volunteers serving in communities under 2,500 population).

    An estimated 153,000 firefighters are involved in structural firefighting, but lack certification in those duties. (Most of these again, are volunteers serving populations under 2,500)

    An estimated 792,000 firefighters serve in fire departments with no program to maintain basic firefighter fitness and health. I guess we can add the brothers from New Jersey.

    An estimated one-thrid of firefighters per shift are not equipped with SCBA. Nearly half of SCBA units are at least 10 years old.

    Nearly half of the emergency responders per shift are not equipped with PASS devices.

    An estimated 57,000 firefighters lack personal protective clothing, most of these in departments serving under 2,500. An estimated one-thrid of PPE is at least 10 years old.

    Half of all fire engines are at least 15 years old, and 32% of fire stations are at least 40 years old.

    Yet, we need to cut the FIRE Act grants, or put it uder the control of the Justice Dept (read: cops), or dole the money out to the states and hope it makes it to the FDs. For those of you who are from Illinois, you know damn well what would happen to our money if it had to pass through Hot Rod's hands first.

    Pass this info on to your reps, make sure they know it, then make sure they keep the FIRE Act grants funded, and under the control of the USFA.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

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    Artie, AWESOME post!

    Jay, that's just downright scary!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Default

    I'm going to post a link to a very LOOOOONG document. If you don't feel like reading it, jump to page 23 and start reading the list of people who prepared this report. Then, go back and read the whole thing.

    Go to the link and hit "view report"

    http://www.cfr.org/publication.php?id=6085#
    Last edited by E229Lt; 08-01-2003 at 06:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Post Thanks, Guys.......

    Artie and Jay, Nice work. Thank you for bringing this to the table, and may I start pounding on the same table? OUR OWN POLITICIANS IN THE FIRE SERVICE ARE MORE TO BLAME THAN ANYONE ELSE. My opinion, I'll carry it to my grave. The IAFF is too busy fighting it's own members in such areas as volunteering when off duty from the job, and the NVFC is too weak to pour water out of a boot with the directions on the sole. WE CAN'T STAND TOGETHER AS ONE, SO WE'RE DESTINED TO FAIL SEPARATELY. THERE WILL NEVER BE REASONABLE TREATMENT OF AMERICA'S FIREFIGHTERS UNTIL WE STAND AS ONE, ONE VOICE, ONE AGENDA, ONE GOAL. My personal opinion, The Volunteers throw out the NVFC operators and start new, new faces, new mission, new direction. The IAFF members throw out their Leadership(?), (ALL of it) and start fresh. A TOTAL COMMITTMENT TO STAND TOGETHER IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST. Lets stop throwing rocks at each other and take on battles worth fighting NOW! The cops get what they get because they all go together. No disrespect to Law Enforcement, they have their act together, AND WE DON'T. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Default

    These morons in DC need to relize that we are the first line of defense for this country and to cut our fundings is like telling the army they can have only 1 M16 per 10 guys. ITS JUST PLAIN STUPID!!!

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    Default

    So I guess the question I was trying to ask when starting this thread, how can this be accomplished? Inform the public? Write our Congressmen? President Bush? Anyone in here good with web animations that can make a little movie or something that can be forwarded around the internet?

  11. #11
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    Question IDEAS??????

    I started another thread, suggesting that it might be an idea to fill Wash,DC with Firefighters and apparatus on 9-11-03. We'd get some attention, that's for sure. BUT, I also think E229Lt hit it dead center with "It's time to form a Political Action Committee". We desperately need something like this, BUT it MUST be All-Inclusive, Career, POC, Volunteer, and anyone else who fights ANY KIND of Fire, All must have an equal seat at the table. If we can do that, we've created an awesome group, one who's voting power cannot be ignored. (and political contributions will figure in, also.) Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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    Thumbs up It can be done ...IF 'we' pull together

    The fire service would be an awesome power base if....I SAY 'IF' we can all get together. Several years ago in my small rural county, our county fire coordinator, decided to run for sheriff. Problem was he was a democrat in a vastly republican county...guess who he had behind him....YOU GOT IT THE FIREFIGHTERS....he won easily, and held the position until he retired. If a small county can do it, then a assembly district, or a state, or the country is reachable too! Come on fire service, lets pull together.


    BE SAFE OUT THERE!!!

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    Default Re: IDEAS??????

    Originally posted by hwoods
    fill Wash,DC with Firefighters and apparatus on 9-11-03.
    That's not a bad idea, and I think it would work to some extent. But I do see two problems with it. First, it's a "one time" shot. We may be heard then, but how long until they forget about it and revert back to their previous ways? Second, while it would definately make a powerful statement, getting apparatus and FF's from all over the country in to D.C. would not be an easy task. Not to mention, EVERYONE needs to be involved, not just those that can make it.


    It's time to form a Political Action Committee
    This sounds like the way to accomplish things. Maybe something web-based so that everyone can have a say even if they can't leave town to assemble somewhere. Something that says the opinions and views of ALL of the US Firefighters. Something with a constant presense so that when things start slipping, we just turn the heat up a bit. In a field like this, where men and women give their all so that others can continue on, there is NO REASON we should not have a loud, unified voice.
    Last edited by Ratchet; 08-02-2003 at 07:45 AM.

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    Default

    Nice work Jay. Take it easy on Blago though. He has been pretty good to the fire service thus far. (Bet you expected that from a union guy didn't you)

    We have PAC's. The IAFF the IAFC and the NVFC all have them. The trick is to get them to unite on the FIRE Act. This may even be happening already.

    Thing is, the PAC's are only as strong as their members make them. I have seen first hand what they can do. Here in Illinois our state organization has a voice at the capitol. Politicians actually listen to us. I know of at least one who after talking with FF's for a few minutes agreed to change his position on a particular bill. I know I have said this before, but the key is to participate in the process. The time to start is now.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

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    Default Stop; you're getting me invigorated!

    I tend to look at this from a "historical" perspective.
    We, the fire service, are the 7th Calvary.
    Washington, D.C. is the Big Horn.
    Congress is the Sioux Nation, led by Sitting Bull!
    Duffman wrote:
    We have PAC's. The IAFF the IAFC and the NVFC all have them. The trick is to get them to unite on the FIRE Act. This may even be happening already.
    Duff; I believe that MONEY is the motive. Millions of dollars in "administrative" and "special, no-compete" grants to these organizations might be the reason for their discontent. At least; that is my opinion.
    Look folks: many of us grew up in the late 60s and 70s. Do any of you remember the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago? Not for the beatings, but for the many diverse organizations that came together in Chicago. The protests? Woodstock? OK; Woodstock is a bad example. My point is this. The colleges had student activists that communicated with the other college campuses and a NATION of college students held rallies NATIONWIDE on a certain day. They met in Washington, DC, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas; wherever they could get a million marchers and they would go.
    So why not take that same kind of "activism" and logic to fire departments across the nation? Instead of colleges, we have fire departments. Someone start a newsletter. Fax it to every other fire department that you know and have them send it to fire departments that they know. Emails; same thing. Get a group of leaders together to bring the others together in a show of unity. NO HIDDEN AGENDAS. We all want the same thing. Make this a grass roots movement. Take that same "forcible entry" attitude to making a stand, a statement a difference in how we are not only funded but recognized.
    Anyone remember Lech Walensa? He brought an entire COUNTRY together in a show of "solidanista" that changed an entire system of government in a portion of the world that had never seen democracy before....
    And yet, we sit here on our hands and spin our wheels because our true leaders of the fire service have NOT come forward?
    Count me in. I love this shat. I am fifty. I am seasoned.

    I WILL NOT GO AWAY!
    CR
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  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Talking FIFTY?????????????????

    Yeah, Right. I'd love to see Fifty again. All kidding aside, Art's right. I'll start working on a plan here, and if everyone else will do the same, we just might get somewhere with this. I'm outta here for 2 days, when I get back I'll post some things that EVERYONE can do, regardless of where you are. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    All of you are more knowledgeable in this field than I am, so I may not be able to help much. But by god if I have to sit here on my computer and forward e-mails all day to every congressman in the country, I'll do it.

    Does anyone have any web-space that they can spare to maybe start a letter that we can all add input to? That way, we can all collectively get our ducks in a row rather than going off half-cocked.

  18. #18
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    Every little bit helps, BUT , it's all been done before.

    Our only chance of making change is to make the changes on election day, THEN, let the world know how and why we voted, who we kicked out, who we voted for and how many of us are on the same page.

    You talk about local elections for Sheriff? How about town boards? It seems the local officials know how big a voting block their firefighters are. The problem is this, it all ends at the town line. If every local firefighters vote is so important, that voting block becomes stronger as you spread from town to county to state to Federal elections. If we all pulled the same levers, just once, in a National election, I assure you, you'll never be counting "Chads".

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