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  1. #26
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    Originally posted by station34
    My personal opinion is that a it seems some people are in this for themselves, or perhaps there own self esteem. To volunteer is very noble on the part of an individual, but to do it at possibly the expense of ones own life is purely foolhardy. If a community is not willing to pay for fire protection, wether it be private, independant, public or whatever, then they deserve NO FIRE PROTECTION, no rescue, no nothing. Time to pack up, and shut it down. You may find out just how fast the community is willing to pony up the dough, if they think they have no protection whatsoever! Turning out with junk, will one day cost a life.... thats a heavy price to pay, when the community itself is unwilling to pay for you to be there! Good luck!
    Man, where did you come from? That is like music to my ears!

  2. #27
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    Default Re: NO FIRE PROTECTION

    Well, I know of several departments that have gone out of business. Worst part is that the citizens didn't care, and I have actually seen instances where people have died because of it. You have to remember that the majority of these places are severely impovrished, and fit the target areas for fatalities by the USFA.

    As far a firefighters dying, all you have to do is look at the NIOSH reports, and guess what, you can easily spot them. In fact, preliminary results in a study Helping Our Own is doing shows that 8% of the fire fatalities could possibly have been avoided with proper funding. Blowouts on trucks, antiquated trucks, wires down on a fence and no hand-helds to notify crews, and so many other things.

    I would however like to address the "shutting the doors" if there is no funding. I assume (and that can be dangerous) that you are from a better funded area. In certain areas of the United States (normally rural areas), you can actually travel through four counties and never find a departmewnt that has over a $20,000 annual budget.

    When I lived in Missouri, the closest fire department that had over a $20k annual budget was 47 miles away. I have driven that distance for a mass casualty incident with them once, and it took an hour and fifteen minutes to get there because of the curvy Ozark Mountain roads.

    About 70% of our applicants for Helping Our Own have to wait over an hour for extrication tools. What's wrong with this picture? Also, let me ask you this, if someones life was on the line, would you wait an hour for someone, or would you do all that you could do. Believe me, I am not saying you are wrong, because you aren't! What I am saying is that a firefighter is a firefighter wether he has the gear or not. Unfortunately, many of these guys (and gals) can't stand to be a bystander, thats where Helping Our Own has come in, and continues to come in. I just wish we could do more!

    I have been on both sides of the coin, and I can tell you that these folks won't let lack of equipment stop them. They may not do as much as there better equipped counterparts, but they will be there. All we can do is to do our best to help them. When I said we in the last sentence, I didn't mean just Helping Our Own, I meant we as a fire service brother or sister.

    Just an FYI, Helping Our Own will be delivering a semi load of equipment to Arkansas on the 6th of December. We hope to help to outfit 40 to 50 departments. While it seems like a lot, there are about 90 departments in AR that have asked for help. It reminds me of the story of the guy walking down the beach. He was picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back in. A man walked up and said, "What do you think your doing? There are millions of them! Do your really think you will make a difference?" The man throwing the starfish in the ocean said "I will make a difference to the ones I throw back!" We will make a difference to the ones we help.

    Any and all of you can feel free to contact me any time, ... Mark



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  3. #28
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    Mark, as I have explained before, the challenges faced by rural FD's are not lost on me. True, our FD's in Northern NJ tend to be well-funded, I have had enough interaction with rural FD's through the NFA to understand what the issues are.

    However, that doesn't cure citizen apathy. A poor department can offer public ed and recruitment and retention programs to aid in their manpower issues and to garner support for increased funding. Other ideas for increasing the efficiency and stretching the budget include regionalization and consolidation. Extrication tools an hour away are better than no extrication tools.

    It is interesting that over a month ago, I offered to help Donna put together a public ed program, free, to help her plight. DEspite all the whining, she did not take me up on the offer. Rural departments that are in trouble need to look at ways to help themselves before they look for handouts.

    I appreciate the work your organization does and look forward to hearing of your continued progress and success.

  4. #29
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    George,

    I tend to agree with you on almost all of the above. In fact, if you know much about HOO you will know that we offer as many alternatives to as many departments as possible. Poor or rich, I receive numerous calls per day looking for advice. Help has been given (advice) to large and small departments alike. Especially when it comes to a city council that is a bully.

    In actuality my post was for "station 34", not you, but it fell along the same lines. My apologies if I offended anyone, I am just trying to help folks see the other side of the fence. I started out in a well funded department, and when I finally retired from active duty (As an Asst. Chief), I was in the poorest department I had seen in my life. Seventeen years in the fire service, and I had never seen it so pitiful as it was there.

    Now as far as your recruitment and retention, and your public education program, I am very interested in it. In fact, if you would be willing, I would like to ask you to make it as generic, and as simple as possible, and to give us permission to hand it out free of charge. If you are willing, remember KISS (for those rookies, it's "Keep It Simple Stupid"). Some of these departments that I deal with are lucky to have two people that can read. This makes the recruitment and retention book almost useless. If we can make it simple, with no fancy words, and straight to the point, I think it could help fire service a lot. Of course this would be contingent upon you wanting to help in this respect.

    If you haven't seen the grant narrative template, please check it out (www.dalmatianfire.com). We didn't charge anything for it, and we made it available to everyone. We only put Helping Our Own's name on it (Note: The creators name is not on it) to raise awareness of the rural departments plight, and how others could help. We are absolutely about the firefighters, and the unity in the fire service. Once again, please accept my apology if I offended you, ... Mark


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  5. #30
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    Mr Warnick
    Does your organization do a check to prove real need and to assure the equipment will be utilized to its fullest?
    From these posts, it looks like you will be donating equiptment to some ones hobby
    ie a "traveling fire department"

  6. #31
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    It seems awful funny that I wanted to relocate...I wouldve 7 years ago and wouldntve been here THIS long.If most of you had the same funding problems I have,having been here the above said years...and you had a choice to relocate to an area that is MORE THAN WILLING to help with funding....or stay in an area and NEVER recieve the "operating funding" you need....THEN WHAT CHOICE WOULD YOU PICK????
    There was no word said ANYWHERE that I would "sell" or "distribute" ANY equipment that was donated to our Company...and also there was NOT a word said BY ME indicating that we moved around like a CIRCUS...
    My point is strictly this...to find a place that will BETTER the Dept instead of a place that LOWERS it.Why operate in a place that sees no sense in budgeting thier own Dept that THEY asked for originally and I bent over backwards to start???
    I have been here SEVEN (count them) SEVEN freakin years with no help AT ALL from the Community and I or WE have responded on EVERY call!
    If youd like phone numbers of People around here to find out just how GOOD of a person I really am...then dont hesitate to ask!
    Its folks like YOU that give the underfunded Companies bad names and its folks like YOU that gives generous people like Mr.Warnick bad names for trying to help those in need!I made my apologies to Mr.Warnick simply becuase of simple misunderstandings and I DO admit I was totally wrong for prejudging his organization....and I will further say I will NEVER prejudge him again...so why dont the rest of you folks at least have the same honor and integrity with me instead of running me in the freakin ground every chance you get????
    ENUFF SAID!

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

  7. #32
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    In regards to GOERGEWENDTS post,I also made the statement to him that if he THINKS hes good enough to make people(my Community) that simply DONT care in making them CARE enough to help with budgeting something THEY wanted in the first place...then hes more than welcome to do it...for I have done all I can think of in trying to get them to care enough to at LEAST donate ONE measly dollar per month...PER household.I simply do not see where ONE dollar hurts them at all since that ONE dollar ALWAYS ends up in the local bar anyways and its not the local bar that responds to thier incidents!
    I only spent this amount of time here HOPING they would come through...and I have seen NOTHING of anything they had promised from the very "get-go".
    Now...if im such this baaaad person like MOST of you seem to think...then apparently...you have not been in the type of predicaments that MOST of us "poor" companies have been in.
    I,like Mr.Warnick,started this company out of my OWN pocket.I spent my entire enheritance on THOUGHTS of the Community at least helping on something they literally begged me to do...and FYI...I spent OVER 350,000 dollars on this Company...and I continue to work for a living to keep it on its feet...and NOT for me...BUT FOR THEM!
    When I first did this...I had ALL the promises in the world of them helping with funding as well as volunteering and to this day have seen absolutely NONE of what they promised despite what I did or tried to do to GET funding...so allll these years I have been running this Company and keeping it on its feet...out of my OWN pocket...and why you might ask??...NOT for me...NEVER for me...but for a community that WANTED it!You all seem to want to judge a book by its cover and regardless of my complaining...what i have said about the situation is the basis of my complaining...as I know for a FACT you all would to should you arise in the same predicament!So basically what im getting from you people is that Im just supposed to stay in a place that simply DOES NOT CARE what they have or WHO tries to help them...and that I cannot BETTER the Company by relocating to a new location thats WILLING to help budget!If you seem to think that way,then you simply are not the people you think you are!Furthermore and Lastly...by aquiring a decent "operating budget" simply means I will no longer have to need help...thus NO complaining!
    So before you go judging those you dont know or have never met...or judging circumstances that you have NO idea about...Id strongly suggest that you at least listen to what the person has to say from the inside...instead of the outside!

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

  8. #33
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    and I will further say I will NEVER prejudge him again...so why dont the rest of you folks at least have the same honor and integrity with me instead of running me in the freakin ground every chance you get????
    ENUFF SAID!
    Uh....I don't think we are prejudging anybody.

    You run yourself into the ground every time one of your fingers hits a key on the keyboard.

  9. #34
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    Now as far as your recruitment and retention, and your public education program, I am very interested in it. In fact, if you would be willing, I would like to ask you to make it as generic, and as simple as possible, and to give us permission to hand it out free of charge. If you are willing, remember KISS (for those rookies, it's "Keep It Simple Stupid"). Some of these departments that I deal with are lucky to have two people that can read. This makes the recruitment and retention book almost useless. If we can make it simple, with no fancy words, and straight to the point, I think it could help fire service a lot. Of course this would be contingent upon you wanting to help in this respect.
    I didn't take any offense from your post. I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't blindeed by one side of this story.

    Of course I would like to help. Of course, making it generic is a little more difficult than making it department specific...at least the way that I had it in mind.

    I will email you about it.

  10. #35
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    Donna...

    I am just curious, have you done any of the internet searches I recommended? There is money out there, but it's not looking for you.

    I must say we are having a banner year as far as alternative funding goes.

    $81,270 FIRE Act
    $1,732 State DNR Grant
    $750 from a charitable foundation
    $1067 from our Haunted House on the Hill fundraiser
    $700 from distributing AVON brochures in which we get 40% of the total receipts
    $1000 Donation from a local corporation
    $2000 Donation from a local corporation
    $300 or there abouts from a brat fry
    $50 from direct citizen donations
    $750 from a charitable foundation for 2 victims of an apartment fire

    Plans are being finalized for a breakfast with Santa, all but the breakfast sausage for this event have been donated.

    Plans for next years Haunted House on the Hill are already underway.

    Plans for multiple brat fry's are underway.

    As far as my budget goes, from our community we receieved a $3,100 bump up in our budget. Good service and good community support have helped us tremendously.

    Donna, I again offer this opinion. If your community will neither support you or fund you, shut the doors. If you have infact put $350K of your own money in this department you are far more dedicated than I am. I have, in leaner times, as have others, spent our own money to fix things but nothing on a scale with you. I in fact told my board at last year's budget hearing you need to decide if you want a fire department, if you do fund us, if you don't close us and see how much it costs you to contract to another municipality and how much budgetary control you lose. Well, they funded us the best they could and we do the best we can with that.

    FyredUp

  11. #36
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    Youre just an *** that cant see things in reality GOERGE so as I said before...just dont speak to me or answer my posts.

    For FYREDUP:....I have no future plans of closing my doors nor do I have any desire to.Too much of a loss in money if I did that.My decision would be strictly to relocate.
    I have plans already in motion of a relocation place where the people are more than willing to fund...since I already have MOST of the equipment.ALOT of people there have told me that theyd even be willing to have a "paid" dept but I have no want to be paid.All I am looking for is people that actually give a **** enough to at least TRY to fund.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

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    Donna I dont know what kinda firefighter you are but apparently you are a rather crappy business woman. Who in their right mind would shell out that kinda money without getting a contract in place before hand.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

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    Youre just an *** that cant see things in reality GOERGE so as I said before...just dont speak to me or answer my posts.
    Man. Whoever this GOERGE guy is really ****ed her off!

  14. #39
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    Donna,

    You had better have contract in hand before you relocate or else you have no gaurantee of funding in your new location either.

    I do have a question for you though. You said you have invested $350K of your own money into your private corporation fire company. May I ask what you spent the money on? You have said you have a 1950 fire engine. I know in our area you can buy a really decent mid 80's used pumper for between $35K and up to around $70K. Heck with $350K I would have 2 different engines, a mini-pumper and have them fully equipped.

    FyredUp

  15. #40
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    George I would say that somebody got under her skin and Fyredup I was kinda wondering the same thing about the money and no contract .....
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I will admit it was MY mistake for not drawing up any contracts with this BUT..I was simply running on "trust"...and these people broke that trust.The place I have my eyes on there WILL be contracts made but right now were just running petitions...just to see who WANTS and who DONT.Afterwards the contract will come into play.As for right now,the petitions are at 63% that WANT...and the petitioning isnt completed as of yet.Think about this...63%(so far there) vs 0%(here)!...which would you pick?

    For FYREDUP...that 350g went into everything...the trucks,the equipment,the organization,the legalities and the insurances plus getting the trucks "legal".When I first opened the doors,I was buying the equipment brand new...but as time went on...my budgeting got slim...and all on trust and hopes.When I say theres 350g involved..it simply means through the years...not all in one whack.bills must be paid and the trucks must be fueled and maintained...and by buying NEW trucks...I wouldve only been left with just ONE NEW truck instead of four OLDER ones....and what good would it have been with just ONE truck??

    and GEORGE...I have nothing to hide...otherwise I would not have bothered posting a profile or making a website...but YOU,my freind, MUST have some personal problems...all I see is ALOT of mouth out of some *** carrying a movie stars name!I have nothing at all against any of you as previously stated but GEORGE...you really need to face reality my man....and stop THINKING you know things or people or circumstances you know jack about.

    And TRUCKIRONS...I only did it becuase at one time I CARED...and I trusted that they did as well.As far as Im concerned "caring" has nothing to do with being a "crappy businesswoman".

    Bottom Line is...I am VERY pleased with the success I have made with my Company and how far I have come...but I am NOT pleased with the citizens by not making it what it could have been.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/seligmanAZ
    Last edited by July36; 11-20-2003 at 10:12 PM.

  17. #42
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    Donna,

    I suppose this will put me in the same category as George but here goes anyways.

    Your fire company is a private fire company. Is it a for profit or non-profit organization? If it is a for profit organization and you didn't have contracts in place detailing what is the expected level of service on your part and what is the expected level of funding on their part I am afraid I must agree with the assertion that you are not a very savy business person. If it is non-profit and solely in operation to offer service to the community (I can't fathom a private fire company with an owner not being for profit) then I would say failing to have a contract with your community again detailing expected service and expected level of funding makes you at the very least naive.

    Trust is a wonderful thing, but in the world of business and government if it isn't written down it didn't happen, wasn't agreed to and you can't prove it.

    An example is I had one of my board members at the budget hearing this year propose a major increase to my budget, over 10%. It passed the preliminary budget hearing and was to be presented to the board. In a totally unrelated conversation that same board member intimated that he didn't expect it to make it through the full board. Because of past history I knew this meant he would attempt to torpedo it. Since he mistakenly forewarned me I talked to a couple of board members and the clerk and told them what I suspected. Well, yepper he tried to remove the increase but because I forewarned them they were prepared and he was shot down. Should I have trusted him because he proposed the increase? One would have thought so...

    I doubt that private fire companies will ever garner the type of community respect and support that local municipal volunteer and career fire departments do. The thought in my mind is this, as soon as the profits wane, so does the private fire companies interest in the community. can anyone say Scottsdale?

    Also, everyone please understand that I know the difference between a private volunteer fire company that is run by a board of directors, trustees or whatever as a non-profit entity and is contracted by the municipality and a privately owned fire company that has an owner and seeks contracts to fund their business.

    FyredUp

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    My apologies for not replying sooner. First off, Mr. Warnick. I have nothing against the efforts of Helping Our Own. I think it is a great thing you do. Yes, I am from a very well funded area. You are correct! I would not risk myself to help people that are unwilling to pay for the neccesitys to save there butts. That may make me a cold person, but I'll still be here tommorow. I think there is a severe false sense of nobility that permeates the fire service. There is no glory in death... the only upside is you don't have to pay your mortgage, or your truck payments. And there is nothing good about it for those you leave behind. I would rather see private citizens with a crowbar at a scene, than a fire truck with nothing more than a crowbar on it for equipment. The lack of funding that seems so prevalent, is perpetuated by the fire service itself, by being willing to perform with nothing other than a t-shirt on your back, a rusty old truck, and the afformentioned crowbar. Now, I'm not trying to knock anyone personally for what they do. We all march to our own drum. These are merely MY OPINIONS, and are not a personal attack against anyone! I have no desire to get into a p!$$ing match with another forum member over what amounts to the way I feel about an issue! Regards to all.

    St34

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    and GEORGE...I have nothing to hide...otherwise I would not have bothered posting a profile or making a website...but YOU,my freind, MUST have some personal problems...all I see is ALOT of mouth out of some *** carrying a movie stars name!I have nothing at all against any of you as previously stated but GEORGE...you really need to face reality my man....and stop THINKING you know things or people or circumstances you know jack about.
    Wow. Somebody using a movie star's name, with tons of personal problems, talking out of my butt with no focus on reality...

    HOLY CRAP! I'M MICHAEL JACKSON!

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    I don't want to interrupt this beautiful scrum, but do volunteer Dept's have access to state lottery money in the US?

    Here in Canada, volunteer organizations (including VFD's) can apply for funds from the provincial lottery commission. It won't buy you a truck, but is usually good for a few thousand a year for equipment and training. just another idea.

    Please resume round two. DING!
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    I don't want to interrupt this beautiful scrum, but do volunteer Dept's have access to state lottery money in the US?

    Here in Canada, volunteer organizations (including VFD's) can apply for funds from the provincial lottery commission. It won't buy you a truck, but is usually good for a few thousand a year for equipment and training. just another idea.

    Please resume round two. DING!
    You're a funny guy. In NJ, lottery money is supposed to go to the schools and casino money is supposed to go the schools and senior citizens. But somehow, I am still paying almost $9000 (that's right-three zeros) in taxes with the overwhelming majority going for schools. The fire service in NJ doesn't have a prayer of getting any of this money.

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    yes...we are non-profit WYREDUP...We do not make any money by doing this...nor do we or have we ever charged for fire protection.My only conmplaint is simply this....I didnt mind at all putting my own money into this company...simply becuase I wanted to do it or I wouldnt have done it.Its just that I have major problems with people that outright lie to me and making promises that never come through.I mean,I can deal with maybe a handful out of the community being asses and not doing what they promised ...BUT...the whole freakin community...as a whole???...seems to me theres just something NOT RIGHT with that picture...and it isnt me as I have done my part at the "bargaining table".Actually I feel I have done MORE than enough of my share.All im asking for from the community is money enough to keep the trucks fueled and maintained and at least have enough left over for this coming years expenses(insurances,etc) and possibly for upgrading the equipment a little becuase i just cannot continue paying for EVERYTHING out of my own pocket.
    I do not expect or even "want" to make money off this operation for my own use...but for the company itself...and I have no "want" of being paid.According to the Company "by-laws",even as owner,i simply cannot use any of the funding that the Company MAY get for my own personal use.Everything that the Company makes has to be inventoried and reported to the Corp. Commission....and besides...the board handles ALL money that has to do with the Company.All I want from them(the community) is what they promised...just as I fulfilled my promise to them...nothing more...then Ill be happy.
    I dont know how many times it takes just to stress this.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ
    Last edited by July36; 11-22-2003 at 05:19 PM.

  23. #48
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    Donna,

    Why won't this community that wants you to be there fire department just start their own volunteer fire department? I am having a hard time understanding the benefit of having your company come in? It would seem to me that if they had you in there and funded you contracturally that equipment purchased would belong to your company and not the community. What happens if let's say 5 years into the contract your company decides they want out or fold due to financial problems? Unless I misunderstand the concept of your company totally you utilize community volunteers to staff the rigs since you have no employess. If there is a base of volunteers ready to serve why do they need you? My only assumption is that they won't have to outlay any substantial money up front because you already have some equipment.

    I consider myself to be a fairly dedicated volunteer firefighter on my off days from the career fire department I work for but I just can't fathom investing $350K of my own money into a non-profit private fire company or actually any fire department for that matter. Particularly if from day one you didn't get the support from the community and its budget you were promised. I'm afraid I would have walked long before $350K flew from my wallet.

    FyredUp

  24. #49
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    I dont know how many times it takes just to stress this.
    Many of us hope not too many more!

  25. #50
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    July36's Avatar
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    yeaa right FYREDUP...thier really gonna start thier own FD when they cant even afford to fund this one.
    As far as staffing is concerned..thats another problem...most of the time I have to run on calls by myself becuase theres nobody here willing to work or try to put an effort in.
    My staffing consists of 8 people..which most of these 8 people work out of the area so thier not always available.The ones that sit around and do nothing are the ones I have a serious problem with.
    I personally do not see anytime in the future of these people making thier own FD...and actually that was "supposedly" what I was for.
    I think...that most of these people didnt know the actual expenses it took to run a proper FD and now that theyve seen how much money it can consist of...now they want no part of "giving up" funding.
    Theres many things involved that is just very "unexplainable" in this situation.One would literally have to "be here" to see the points ive been trying to make.Anyhow,myself and a few of my members will be making our "move" pretty soon anyways so Im not gonna worry about it no more...Ive made my decision as well as some of my members...its time to go to a place where there IS funding.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

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