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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Minimum staffing

    Need help, I know we are all understaffed & I have read 1710. How do you show City Hall just how unsafe it is when the number of working fires is down. We currently man 2 engines and ladder, chief vehicle and dispatch oursleves. Staffing is driver on hydrant piece, driver on ladder w/one f/f M-F daytime, attack engine is driver, officer, one maybe two depending on vaction f/f's. We have tried to pass off dispatching to PD they can't handle it.


  2. #2
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    Showing 'em is one thing, convincing them is another.

    How about a petition to adopt 1710, then they would have to follow its manning guidelines. You may not get it passed, but it may get their attention.

    Good luck, we are in the same boat.

  3. #3
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    It seemes that Fire Ops. 101 has done alot of good for the dept. that have tried. We have talked about hosting one for our polititians and media. It's worth a shot.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber fieldseng2's Avatar
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    My city actually made an official resolution NOT to recognize NFPA 1710.

    A few years before it was adopted we lost a brother in a fire. If you compared the incident to the standard today the whole standard was disredarded. This has been a 10 year battle with the city. Everyone (even the 4 chiefs we've been through) are on the belief we are not a big city fire department, we don't have a fire every day, we have got along fine with what we have (forgetting we lost a brother!)! So they believe we do not need more than 2 on a rig.

    With no collective bargaining the city laughs at our union when we bring it up. They blame it on money, but they had no problem opening up a new firehouse WITHOUT hiring 1 new firefighter.

    I think we have some of the best firefighters around (we have to be to do the work of 4 or 5). I dont know how we have gotten by to have only get 1 brother killed. Some body is definately watching over us.

    I would certainly appreciate any advice as well.

    fieldseng2

  5. #5
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    Convincing the politicians is the hard part, but try to make them understand that whether you have 100 fires or only 1, it still takes a certain number of firefighters to safely and efficiently put the fire out. With 2-In and 2-Out and the other recent rules, it's obvious that the trend is utilizing more firefighters on the fire scene, in order for the scene to be safer for everyone. You can't utilize more firefighters when everyone is already doing 5 things at once!
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

  6. #6
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    I may be mistaken but...

    1710 is a standard that all departments should strive for, but 2 in 2 out is a federal mandate. I would look at it from that angle.

    I believe 1710 will become more like a mandate after the first time it is brought up in court, which I imagine will be soon.

  7. #7
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    1710 is a standard that all departments should strive for, but 2 in 2 out is a federal mandate.
    An unfunded mandate....

    2 in / 2 out is an OSHA Standard. Some States, like mine, are not OSHA States. This means that OSHA does not have the ability to fine the municipality for violations of OSHA standards. There is a State version of OSHA, and many of the rules are the same.

    There is no doubt that 1710 and 2 in / 2 out will be the Standards you are held to when it all goes wrong.

    Somehow you have to convince the powers that be that its better to be to meet the Standard before, than be be sued over not meeting it after.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber CrossBro1's Avatar
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    Everyone (even the 4 chiefs we've been through) are on the belief we are not a big city fire department, we don't have a fire every day, we have got along fine with what we have (forgetting we lost a brother!)!
    An unfortunate affect of forgeting where you came from and just how difficult doing the job inside is.
    My city actually made an official resolution NOT to recognize NFPA 1710.
    Talk about banging your head against a wall.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber fieldseng2's Avatar
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    How true it is.........

    And we wonder why we have our best veteran firefighters (some with even 10+ years on) defecting to other FDs!

  10. #10
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    With no collective bargining you guys are in a real bad situation because you might as well not have a contract. First let me say sorry for the loss of your brother it's a very tramatic thing to have gone through. Second from my time in the fire service I've learned that the public is so uneducated about us that it's like trying to teach collage math to a preschooler. What the union needs to do is get out and educate the public via newspaper, tv news, our having other union brothers from the surrounding towns come in to the city meetings and start asking question and putting them on the spot, Also maybe have the NIOSH report published for the public to read, so I guess what I'm saying is do anything that you can do to get your point across. Next I've learned to be politally active make, friends with the people that will help you and get them into office.

  11. #11
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    A PR campaign is a good start for an area without collective bargining. You need to talk to the public through petitions, newspaper ads, local radio ads, etc. Show the public how much per thousand they spend on a firefighter per year. They will be shocked at how little they actually spend. Explain OSHA law and how your area needs to comply. Getting political is another route. The firefighters of Schentady, NY, took over the Independent Party in their County. Look at the number of firefighters, their family members, their friends, neighbors, etc. When you look at all of those people, you have a lot of votes.

  12. #12
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
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    My combo FD staffs one, sometimes two, FF/s during the day at our Main Station. If a page goes out for a fire and 2 FFs are at the station then the first out Pumper and the Tanker/Pumper roll. Wrecks mean the EMS Service truck and First out Pumper roll. EMS calls will bring out the EMS truck with both FFs on it. They paid FFs will get the first out trucks enroute and are backed up by the Vollies who will pick up other trucks from other stations.

  13. #13
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    Cellblock,
    That is OK if you can have 6 people on the scene within 8 minutes, but if you can't it is wrong. In my career dept, we need at least 6 (bare min.) to be legal within 4 minutes. NFPA says 14 people within 4 minutes.

  14. #14
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
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    Local,
    There are no promises when dealing with a Volunteer based system. In other posts I have mentioned being enterviewed by local media after working a house fire one morning and being the only FF on scene for about 10 minutes until volunteers and our mutual aid from Baton Rouge arrived to help me.
    The voters had two chances to pass a property tax which would have put additional paid people at the Main Station. The tax failed both times. So the Community gets what it deserves. A combination system with no garentees(sic).

  15. #15
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    Angry minimal staffing

    go figure...from jersey shore. me too! all the way down south. jersey is apparatus and station rich and firefighter poor! i am lt. in combo dept. and we are staffed w/additional part-time on-duty firefighters in the summer, but thats only becouse we need 2 bls units due to tourism. that adds more butts in the jumpseats for our quint, as long as the bls units are in qtrs. when fire alarm is recieved. in the winter, or "off season" we staff 3 on our quint, though technically 1 ff brings the rig, as hydrant man. we are backed up by vollies who are toned for structures, etc. response time is poor, training is terrible, and we have been promised by the "politcals" additional staff since we assumed ems duties several years ago, but no such luck....in jersey, i hate to say what the real reason for lack of on-duty staffing is but, .....not supposed to say it!!! so, try to convince city hall??? how'bout 3 in our local govt. are vollies.... and 1 is career in another community!!!gee guys, ya do a wonderful job, the city loves ya! but just wait till next year, elections comming, ya know!-meanwhile-to heck w/ 2in 2 out, osha, nfpa,god, or anyone else, just get in there and put the fire out!!!---3 freakin guys on thier own for god knows how long... supply line?? or not?? vent??, ladder??? 3 guys tryin to be 12... hell, 6 would be great!!!!just keep paging... and the big sirens a blowin... thell be here.......soon

  16. #16
    Forum Member GrovFire25's Avatar
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    Gentlemen I hate to pop your bubble but before you start quoting 1710 make sure that your department shouldn't really be operating under 1720 . Unless your department is 100% career you probably should. I am one of 7 career members total on a department that is slotted for 40 vollies. Our average personnel turnout is 4. Which means we are averaging 1 or less than 1 vollie for each call. That means our calls are being handled by the career staff even though we are the minority (we have very few active vollies).
    Just a thought to make sure that 1710 really applies to you.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber fieldseng2's Avatar
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    GrovFire is corect..

    For you combo depts. or career depts whose city is thinking about brining in part time and/or vollies this is what you need to keep in mind..

    Depts that are primarily (majority) paid: you are under 1710 Standard

    Depts that are primarily vollie or part-time: you are under 1720 Standard

    We are an all career dept (home of the 2-man engine company).

    Our Mayor thought if she brpught in volunteers or paid on call then we would comply with 1710. But, instead of even researching it, she made the council adopt a resolution to NOT RECOGNIZE NFPA 1710!

    Its a crazy world.


    fieldseng2

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Local719
    Cellblock,
    That is OK if you can have 6 people on the scene within 8 minutes, but if you can't it is wrong. In my career dept, we need at least 6 (bare min.) to be legal within 4 minutes. NFPA says 14 people within 4 minutes.
    Are you refering to NFPA 1710? If so, the requirement is not 14 people within 4 minutes. The standard calls for the arrival of the first engine (4 people) within 4 minutes and/or within 8 minutes for the full first alarm at a suppression incident. The total number of people for the full first alarm is 15-17 people.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
    IAFF Local 10

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