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  1. #21
    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    In this area line-item budgets seem to be all the rave. This is such a horrible use of money and its not wonder that the country is way in debt.

    For those of you who dont know, line item budgets are used to split up money from a governments overall budget. 1 million may go to payroll for the year, 500k may go to new fire equip, 600k to new police equip, 900k to maintenence, so on and so forth. The terrible travesty of this method is that when one budget suffers, money cannot be taken out of another budget to cover it. The other thing that happens here is something we all see. End of the year, time to spend our money or we'll get less next year.. BULLS***. There should be one bank account for each government. Everything comes out of this. That way that 20000 dollars in each line-item that can't be spend on anything adds up and whoa, there's actually 400k left here or there, much easier to spend on appropriate things.

    I have trouble voting for levies for this reason. Governments have money, they just can't cross spend, so look, the "school budget" needs increased..


  2. #22
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    During the 1990s, the "heyday" of the COPS program, the number of police officers in the U.S. increased by 9%.

    The number of career firefighters in the U.S. increased by 9%.

    COPS had no effect on the bottom line, since those communities still had to fund the positions (or lay off them off) afterwards.

    It did allow positions being opened up by retirements to be filled three years sooner than waiting for the retirement to take place. And in a few communities like mine it eased in hiring (or in our case, contracting) for our first two full-time police officers.

    In the first year, the federal government will contribute up to 90% of the cost, 80% in the second year, 50% the third year, and 30% in the fourth. The jurisdiction is then required to pay the full amount for at least one additional year. The total federal funds for each position cannot exceed $100,000 over the five year period.

    In my state, Connecticut, an average entry-level municipal firefighter costs $50,000/year. $35,000 in salary, $15,000 in benefits roughly.
    Year 1: $45,000
    Year 2: $40,000
    Year 3: $15,000 (Hitting the budget cap)
    Year 4: No money left in the grant.

    The local community still has to make a decision they can afford this hiring in the long term. All a Federal program does is affect the timing, not the final numbers.

  3. #23
    Senior Member FFMcDonald's Avatar
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    DaSharkie -

    Brother, I have read your replies, and - well; I guess I'll agree that we have to disagree.

    I see the point that you make. But I don't feel that our local governments are up to the task - and that they need help.


    We are both right. The Fire Service in this country needs to get it's head out of it's ***** - and band together. We need to start working toward some common goals.

    Semper Fidelis my fellow jarhead. Thank you for the lively discussion. I appreciate your opinion - I hope you appreciate mine.

    Happy Birthday Marine - 228 years. Oooh Raah! Semper Fi.
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  4. #24
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    George,

    Thanks for the standing O. I am trying like hell to get out of this state but apparently I do not have all of my papers in order.

    FF McDonald,

    I too enjoy a lively debate. We each have our feelings and while I very much understand how and why you feel I do disgree with you.

    In addition, I know it is not realistic for the tax structure to be radically inverted from its present setup. I wish it could be so. As it is I see little to no effect from my current tax contribution at the federal level. This disgruntles me and many others. At least if most of my money went to the local government it could be spent appropriately and I could exercise more control over it as politically observant and active citizen.

    As for the birthday, Sir to you and our brothers in arms. Semper Fidelis. To our brothers and sisters deployed and away from home, thank you. Keep yourselves safe.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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  5. #25
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    In the context of Homeland Defense, that is not what they are talking about. The fire service had the same record as the military in the PREVENTION of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The FBI came closer than anybody. And nobiody would listen to her.
    I still disagree; the fire department minimizes the damage that, unchecked, could possibly kill more people, or destroy more property. If a "terrorist" detonates a bomb that starts a fire, the fire department is there to stop the loss. That's defense. If the fire department or police department rescues people that otherwise would have died in the attack, that's defense, too.

  6. #26
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    I still disagree; the fire department minimizes the damage that, unchecked, could possibly kill more people, or destroy more property. If a "terrorist" detonates a bomb that starts a fire, the fire department is there to stop the loss. That's defense. If the fire department or police department rescues people that otherwise would have died in the attack, that's defense, too.
    You are still talking apples and oranges. Homeland security is the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence, taking proactive and preventitive measures and identifying responsible parties and threats to the country. It is not a knock on the fire service to say that they do not participate in this process.

    Yes they do play a major role in mitigating the circumstances after the attack happens. But if the homeland security aspect is succesful, then there will be no need for the FD to participate in the process.

  7. #27
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    I heard the Massachussetts National Guard has Military Parades through Boston once a week and all citizens are required to stand there, lifeless with a blank expression and wave state flags...

    I guess when John "Karl Marx" Kerry becomes president we can all be part of a stalinist regime.

    Just kidding people...but I had to break one on my Left-sided fellows from the Northeast.

  8. #28
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    You are still talking apples and oranges. Homeland security is the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence, taking proactive and preventitive measures and identifying responsible parties and threats to the country. It is not a knock on the fire service to say that they do not participate in this process.
    OK, you've gone and changed words on me. I don't see how any reasonable person could say that fire and police departments are not part of our homeland defense. Your definition of "homeland security" is rather narrow, I think.

  9. #29
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    After reading all of your posts and definitions...I am siding with George. I see FDs as controlling the problem after it occurs, not preventing the problem from occurring.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  10. #30
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Just kidding people...but I had to break one on my Left-sided fellows from the Northeast.
    Just remember there are a HUGE number of "Right" minded people whose voices are drowned out by the flaming libs in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, and the other towns.

    By the way, from my house, if I am in the right spot I can see freedom. That freedom, New Hampshire. I guess it is sort of like looking across the Berlin wall and seeing freedom from East Berlin. Someday, baby. Someday.

    I guess when John "Karl Marx" Kerry becomes president we can all be part of a stalinist regime.
    See Da Sharkie shuddering at the thought. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    At least Fat Boy - aka Ted Kennedy - is behind him so that guarantees Kerry a couple hundred thousand votes. Mine will not be one of them. I can think for myself, not follow the Kennedy mantra.

    all citizens are required to stand there, lifeless with a blank expression and wave state flags...
    That lifeless look is people trying to figure out how to pay their bills after all of the state taxes are sucked out of them. Then we have to figure out how to pay for the house because they are so expensive up here - In July, the average cost of a single family home in Taxachusetts was $450,000. The average cost of a condo in Taxachusetts? $290,000. No wonder I can't afford to live the American Dream.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  11. #31
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    OK, you've gone and changed words on me. I don't see how any reasonable person could say that fire and police departments are not part of our homeland defense. Your definition of "homeland security" is rather narrow, I think.
    OK. Then educate me.

    What action does your fire department take to PREVENT a terrorist strike?

  12. #32
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    Default Insurance and Security

    George you are absolutely correct Fire Departments don't do anything in regards to prevention.

    However "homeland security" is much more than just prevention.

    That is because we are an insurance policy for when your infallible Law Enforcement fails at preventing terrorist attacks. Just as has happened in three colossal failures.

    -OKCity
    -WTC bombing
    -9-11
    and in numerous other smaller or widespread incidents...
    -Olympic Park bombing
    -Anthrax
    Etc.

    And on an international level...
    -Daily attacks in Israel
    -Tokyo subway attacks
    Etc.

    The firemen in Great Britain did little to prevent the Germans from bombing them during WWII, however they served in the defense of their country by saving lives and preventing the spread of the fires. I ask you was this not critical to their defense?

    After every incident promises were made by politicians and police chiefs that "We will do everything to see that this never happens again...Ē And what happens...twice now it has happened again!!

    I'm sure that you and everyone in here do everything in their power to prevent a fire in their home. However I'm sure that most if not all of you have substantial insurance policies on your home, families, car and most of all yourself. The insurance policy you have is designed to provide security in that they will reimburse you (or your next of kin) in the event of catastrophic loss. Also you pay taxes or donate money for a fire department to help stem the loss in your house or save the life of your children.

    Twice now Law Enforcement has failed. And who is there to stem the loss of life and property from fire and haz-mat? Not the Cops (they had their chance)...not EMS.... it is the Fire Department. (Does the PD and EMS play a role? Sure but a much smaller one.) Fire Depts. are not asking for money to create terrorism prevention programs. They are asking for money to deal with the incidents after Law Enforcement failures. They are there to stem the losses and prevent the spread and escalation of the incident after the cops drop the ball.

    The terrorists are not going away and there will unfortunately probably be another failure of Law Enforcement and regardless if we have the funding or not...who will everyone call...the fire department.

    FTM-PTB

    PS: I'll agree that there are many FDs and states that are getting tools, equipment and funding for a problem they don't or statisticly won't have. (I would liken it to purchasing flood insurance for a house on the top of a hill.) I'm sure Pigsknuckle, Arkansas isn't on the top of terrorists lists of potential targets. Cities such as those should be more woried about the typical structure fires (where 8 FFs is a 2nd alarm response!) and typcial haz-mat hazards rather than biologcial toxins and Dirty bombs. They should work towards convincing the people why they need more members to even properly and safely attack a house fire. Meanwhile my dept which protects either the Number 1 or 2 target (depending on how you would classify NY and DC) has limited resources considering the size and potential hazards we face.
    Last edited by FFFRED; 11-11-2003 at 04:08 PM.

  13. #33
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    Fred, point taken, but what you are describing falls more accurately under the unbrella of Domestic Preparedness. Homeland Security is more accurately described as I stated earlier.

    I take issue with one point. You state "Law enforcement has failed twice" and make it sound like there are no successes. I would submit to you that there are a number of cases where law enforcement (including the military and intelligence community) have interdicted a terrorist plot and prevented enormous loss of life. The two cases that some immediately to mind are the Millenium bombing in LA and the plot to blow up the bridges and tunnels in NYC in 2000. There are also little battles won that never make it into print. The money being spent on law enforcement in homekand security is not wasted money.

  14. #34
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    Default Agreed

    George,

    You are right there have been successes...some known to us and others we will never hear about. I'm sorry I failed to mention them. I also remember hearing about a plot to blow up the space neddle in Seatle that was prevented.(perhaps that is one in the same with the LA Bombing)

    I'm of the opinion we should adequately fund Law Enforcement and Fire Departments to deal with the repsonsibilites they are faced with. I'm not sure whether it matters if one calls it preparedness or security...in some sense I think the definitions overlap somewhat. While we provide a service that might fall under preparedness...It gives the civilians we protect security to know that we are there.

    FTM-PTB

  15. #35
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    OK. Then educate me. What action does your fire department take to PREVENT a terrorist strike?
    Again, only YOU have given such a narrow definition to the concept of "defense." Just as in football, defense means actively moving to counter the actions (offense) of the other guys (terrorist) and minimize the damage to lives and property caused by the incident. Who says that defense is limited to prevention activities? Where do you think the term "civil defense" came from in the first place? When people work together to stop a situation that is causing damage and harm, that is defense. I find it hard to believe that you still don't accept what most people, from the President on down, do; the fire service IS a critical part of our domestic defense system. There; you've been educated.

  16. #36
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    There; you've been educated.
    Here's a shocker: We don't agree.

    You call it defense, I call it security. You say the fire service is in it. I say it's not. We have had this debate before and got to the same place we are today.

  17. #37
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    You call it defense, I call it security. You say the fire service is in it. I say it's not. We have had this debate before and got to the same place we are today.
    Yep; with you in total denial of the facts. I don't care what it's called; it is obvious that the fire service would be a critical factor in the response to a disaster, man-made or otherwise. That should have been made crystal clear after the World Trade Center attacks.

  18. #38
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    I hope it works and they work out the bugs in it. If you read the other thread on this subject, as usual hwoods has some very valid points and concerns.

    I know my department could benefit from it. We have gone from having 6 firefighters/shift (1 station) in the mid-90s to 5 in 2001 and this year we have been cut back to min/max of 4/shift.

    Puts us in a bind with 1710, OSHA 2 in 2 out and you name it. The administrators for the city just do not get it!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  19. #39
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    The administrators for the city just do not get it!
    Exactly. It's OUR money, anyway; not the Federal Government. Although there are issues with the Fire Act grant program, it's still the best thing to come along for fire departments across the country, ever. For this to work, however, the local governments will have to eventually step up and figure out a way to retain any new firefighters hired through the grant. I hope there are some stipulations on receiving a grant to guarantee this. I guess we'll find out if it ever gets going.

  20. #40
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    Yep; with you in total denial of the facts. I don't care what it's called; it is obvious that the fire service would be a critical factor in the response to a disaster, man-made or otherwise. That should have been made crystal clear after the World Trade Center attacks.
    But I put my debate forward without any personal attacks on you. Too bad you couldn't do likewise.

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