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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Default Anybody get an e-mail from Baldwinsville, NY?

    Over the weekend, we got an e-mail message that begins with the following text:

    ------------
    The Village of Baldwinsville, NY has dissolved its 100+-year-old fire department. (the dept. 'went independent') The 70-member dept. served the Village of 7,200 residents as well as two fire protection districts with another 12,000 residents.

    All apparatus & equipment is being sold by auction. All trucks are in topnotch condition, and all equipment has been very well-maintained. Everything is for sale, from trucks and a bus to turnout gear, generators, tools, cameras, computers, and much more.
    -------------

    The message goes on to contain links to the city's site and an on-line auction of what appears to have been a well-equipped fire department. I did a search of the forums and nearly two years ago, there was a discussion about this department breaking away from the municipal government. Does anyone know what's happened in the meantime? It seems like someone has just taken their toys and went home.


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Actually, I got that same email about 1 month or two ago

  3. #3
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    could you bump the thread for us ?>
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  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Yes. The mayor's brilliant wife got into our "Members Only" section and picked a bunch of random people to spam with this crap. It went to a bunch of people that have nothing to do with purchasing equipment and it went to a few of our E-Mail List Servers. She got a lovly e-mail from me advising her to stay out of what she knew was the "members only" section and that their unsolicited email was not welcome regardless of how she found the addresses.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Here's the background...


    B'ville Firefighters Quit Village in Tears
    Declaration of independence leaves village without its own fire service.
    Monday, February 25, 2002

    By Jemeli Tanui

    After three days of failed negotiations and a last-minute push for compromise, the bulk of Baldwinsville firefighters went out of service at midnight today and set their sights on establishing an independent fire company outside the village.

    More than 400 people gathered at the Baldwinsville fire station for an 8 p.m. public meeting Sunday. Dozens of speakers called on Mayor Andrew Dryden and village trustees to give firefighters what they wanted, but by that point the mayor said it appeared to be too late.

    As the residents hurled insults at him, Dryden said he had tried 17 times to hold a conversation with fire company leaders and was still willing to talk.

    "We did not set this deadline," he said, "and we did not want them to do this."

    Some asked the volunteers to hold on for a few weeks while the problem was sorted out. Others asked for a 90-day moratorium. One resident asked firefighters, "What gives you the right to abandon us? If there is a fire and somebody dies how will you feel about that, just because your ego was hurt?"

    The mayor hoped the village would be able to keep some volunteers to run the department, but even that seemed in doubt.

    "I can't do this. You're asking me to break this up. They are my family," said volunteer firefighter K.C. Pickard, who had originally agreed to stay in service.

    The crowd stood as fellow firefighters embraced him.

    Four of five village board members retreated to the village hall about 9:30 p.m. and agreed, behind closed doors, to call an emergency meeting Thursday night to decide whether village voters should consider the fate of the department. Dryden called on firefighters to stay on the job until then, to no avail.

    By then, at least 65 volunteers had given signed approval to walk away from protecting the village. They had already decided to try to establish an independent fire company to serve parts of the towns of Van Buren and Lysander that border village boundary lines.

    As midnight struck, firefighters turned off pagers and many shed tears. Onondaga County 911 was prepared to contact the village fire department first for calls in its service territory, but quickly move to neighboring departments if there is no response.

    By 12:30 a.m. today, most of the fire equipment had been packed away.

    "We feel for the village. We feel for the residents who are losing one of the best fire departments because of one mayor and one village board," firefighter Tony DiGregorio said.

    "We are not out of business," fire Chief William Kennedy said. "We have just moved our business somewhere else."
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    And some more...


    B'Ville Firefighters Return
    Referendum to decide independence
    Tuesday, February 26, 2002

    By Jemeli Tanui and Jerry Rosen

    Baldwinsville volunteer firefighters are back on the job today after village trustees agreed to put their bid for independence up for a referendum.

    Trustees voted 5-0 at an emergency meeting Monday night to schedule a public vote March 19 on whether the Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Co. should become an independent operation.

    Most of the volunteer firefighters walked out at midnight Sunday after the village board failed to resolve the independence issue during a meeting Sunday. The board was also under pressure from County Executive Nicholas Pirro to resolve the issue.

    The Baldwinsville Village Hall was packed with red-eyed firefighters in civilian clothes, most of whom had not gone to bed since Saturday night. As soon as Village Mayor Andrew Dryden announced that the resolution had passed, firefighters and residents cheered, hugged one another and wiped away tears.

    Dryden also reinstated the three fire chiefs who had resigned at midnight Sunday and the firefighters made immediate plans to return to service.

    "Not since Thursday have I slept. This is the best thing I've heard for a long time," said Tony McIntyre, president of the fire company.

    Village Attorney J.C. Engelbrecht said the mayor and the board were committed to keeping a promise they made to the public Sunday night.

    "I feel it (referendum resolution) is an

    extremely good mechanism so that taxpayers can decide themselves what they want," Engelbrecht said.

    Dryden prepared to go home Monday after two days of non-stop negotiations. Dryden said the village had changed its position based on what the residents wanted.

    "We (village board) never thought that anybody could ever support this action, but obviously from the public support (Sunday) it was what the people wanted," he said.

    Van Buren Supervisor Mary Crego was similarly surprised.

    "This is such a 180-degree change from anything proposed by the village yesterday," Crego said. "It was one of the options run through earlier, but none of us ever believed it would happen."

    The quarrel between the village board and the volunteer fire company revolved around control of the fire company's finances and leadership. Tension between the two sides escalated last week after the village board voted against the company's request to become independent and contract with the village for fire services.

    Dryden said village board members were wary of contracting with an independent fire company because they could not monitor taxpayers' dollars as easily as they do now.

    "We would simply be subject to negotiations and if they say yes or no, we are done," Dryden said.

    Onondaga County Fire Coordinator Mike Waters said Dryden had a legitimate fear.

    "Unfortunately, there have been some irregularities, but for the most part independent fire companies are very accountable," he said.

    But the Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Co. said it was capable of handling public money.

    The volunteer firefighters said they wanted independence so they could buy fire protection equipment as they needed, choose their own leadership and have the ability to build fire stations as needed.

    For the past two years, the firefighters have been waiting for Van Buren and Baldwinsville officials to work out details on building a fire station that would reduce response time to residents in a section of Van Buren.

    But when their request for independence was turned down, firefighters threatened to walk out if the village did not let them form an independent company. At midnight Sunday, they carried out that threat, and at least 60 firefighters turned off their pagers, despite pleas from more than 400 residents to stay.

    As a result of the disagreement, only Charles McAuliffe, who had been appointed overnight as fire chief, and a fire policeman responded, without a fire truck, to a 10 a.m. fire Monday at 43 Oswego St. Ten minutes later, the Belgium Cold Springs Fire Company arrived.

    "The call would have normally taken the village fire department about four minutes," Waters said. "Fortunately it turned out to be a minor thing."

    By late Monday, all sides seemed satisfied with the new arrangement.

    "I think it all worked out very well for both sides," Lysander resident Cheryl Shelton said. "Everybody seems to be happy."
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  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I'm glad they got this worked out. Normally I would question the sanity of someone or a group leaving becasue they don't like the mayor. However, the fact the entire dept said "See Ya" leads me to believe there was a real issue that was going no where and it had to be done. It's usually the case... The people with the money don't want to do anything until it makes them publicly look like fools and jepordizes their re-election.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #8
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    So wait..... They went independant, and are going to do so by starting over with entirely new equipment from office chairs to apparatus? Do I have that right?

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I couldn't get access to the Syracuse Post-Standard archives without a subscription, but from what I found it looks like this.

    The dept got the approval to go independent last December.

    Here is their website:

    http://www.baldwinsvillefire.com/

    The stuff for auction doesn't match their listed apparatus, so I assume it is surplus gear from the separation.

    Here is a message from the mayor I found hiding in the town site:

    The Village of Baldwinsville, NY has dissolved its fire dept. The fire dept., that served 20,000 people, went 'independent' last year, and all apparatus & equipment must be sold. For more information, please contact our website: www.baldwinsville.org
    Sounds like surplus equipment under the new contract.
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  10. #10
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    Got that email back on 11/06
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  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Me Too..........

    I got one too.I traded emails with the mayor several times, he seemed pretty up front about what was going on, at least it seemed that way........ The items posted here are somewhat different. The Mayor did seem quite suprised when I told him that I'd never met a mayor that had any control over Fire/Rescue services, AND that I thought that local politics had no place in Emergency Services. (He had no clue about our County systems here in Maryland) I'm glad that some of the problems are working out, and I would suggest that the Volunteers might want to work very hard to see that the next election goes their way. Stay Safe....
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  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    CollegeBuff hit on what seems so strange to me. I saw the old threads about them going independent, but it is just plain dumb to sell all the old equipment - most of which appears to be fine stuff.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Appears to me that the Town is selling the equipment and if the independent fire company wants it, they will need to buy it.
    "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?

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Appears to me that the Town is selling the equipment and if the independent fire company wants it, they will need to buy it.
    It looks like it.

    If you look at the BFD link my previous post, you will see that they seem to have a good selection of pretty new equipment right now. Maybe they took the separation as an opportunity to lease some new equipment rather than buy old stuff from the city. Could also have been a little politics there too to stick the city with equipment they can't use. Although, I have never known a Fire Chief to try to stick it to a city administrator.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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