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  1. #1
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default What does the PD know that we dont?

    Why does it seem that the PD's dont have as much trouble as we do with money?

    Here the sheriff is fully staffed, is always buying new cars and has every other "toy" for law enforcement. Every year he asks for a budget increase and the county doesnt blink an eye. Yet we have been asking for over a decade for a training facility/burn building to be used by all the county FD's. No luck till this year.

    The city PD's are the same way. Fully staffed and all the equipment they need. Raises, no problem. We have a city where the FD has been without a contract for over a year, but the PD got one no problem.

    We have a couple citys running two man engine companys (paid dept.) but the PD has 7-8 cars on the road all the time.

    When ever the talk of budget cuts come up guess who they look at first, the FD.

    What do they know that we dont? What are we doing wrong?

    I have some ideas of my own, but what do YOU think...

    Dave


  2. #2
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Arrow My take on it

    Two schools of thought...

    (1) People like to feel protected. They feel that way by seeing police cars on patrol and fire trucks in the station. It takes proper staffing to keep patrol cars rolling. All it takes is a station with glass doors to show off the fire rigs. Seriously, as long as folks see those red trucks... they think they are okay.

    (2) People are afraid of crime. They worry about bad guys breaking in and harming their family. Why? Because crimes are committed by evil people doing evil things? Why aren't people afraid of a fire in their home? Well, because to them, fires happen when people do something stupid. And, of course, no one ever admits to being stupid... so everyone thinks they are immune.

  3. #3
    Senior Member WannabeintheFD's Avatar
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    im afraid of fire... see if you cut back on the PD than your FD will get more work... and everyone will fall in love with the FD because they save them...
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

  4. #4
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    ohhhhhhhhhhhk............I have to say for us we began to get more money when we spent some !...........for years after I first got on we bought nothing more than we needed, and the departemtn leaders didnt want to you know look fisically irresponsible ....also .....are you a volly department ? as things got better for us I felt another downfall was us not having a fulltime Chief .........we have always had FT PD Chief .......and guess who can go over to city hall and lobby for things they need ? but the POC/Volly Chief who works until 5 cannot meet city leaders during the day and henceforth .......the FD isnt saying they need anyhtihng .........so they must be ok ? right ? so things for us have gotten better.
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  5. #5
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Plus the PD has the opportunity for more grants. Our PD gets grants all the time, and we get very few.....

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by WannabeintheFD
    im afraid of fire... see if you cut back on the PD than your FD will get more work... and everyone will fall in love with the FD because they save them...
    How in the world does cutting back on the police force increase the need and work load of a fire department?
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  7. #7
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    ....also .....are you a volly department ?
    My deparment is paid with a small group of volunteers who provide non combat support functions. The other departments in my area are the same or fully paid.

    Dave

  8. #8
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    I think you'll find it's all got to do with "Return On Investment".

    The PD probably has a bigger and more importantly, a more noticable impact on the community.

    Not saying it's right, just what I think....
    Luke

  9. #9
    Forum Member 33motor's Avatar
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    PD generates an income through fines... speeding tickets etc. The FD's primarly spend money, not bring it in. So, it's easy to want to cut the FD, because we're just a "money pit". We're not thought of as being important.... at last until we're needed. But, just how often do those who make the cuts ever need us? I'm 37 and I have never needed the FD or EMS.. so there is a chance that most of them never have either.... therefore concreting thier thought that we are expendable. Just my opinion anyway as to why they "think" the way they do.
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  10. #10
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    You also never hear of two different groups of cops fighting and sniping at each other the way the "differently compensated" groups of firefighters do.

    One more reason to put all that crap aside Brothers and Sisters!
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  11. #11
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Actually, the fire service in general is doing a much better job of fire prevention. Involvement in fire and building codes go further in helping us defeat our "enemy." Fire departments must branch into different service areas, if they want to stay viable. We know our enemy, and we have worked to defeat it. Crime is not as easily defined. As long as there are laws, there will be criminals; and the little old ladies with all the money are more frightened of criminals. I also believe that there is a difference in the way police and firefighters are viewed in communities, with the police more likely to be treated as professionals in most places. Remember this when you tear down the road at 90+ in your ate-up Camaro, with the huge lightbar and the "I fight what you fear" sticker in the back glass. Remember this when you fight tooth and nail against setting higher training and physical standards in your department or state.

  12. #12
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    I don't know how other FDs are, but we bring in a decent amount of money through our transport fees for EMS. I think last year we brought in $70K+. It's not as much as what PD brings in, but we don't do too bad for having 900+ runs, with about 90% of those being EMS. It does help when it comes time to ask for some money because they know we at least bring in something, especially when you start to add in our Fire Inspection fees....

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FiRsqDvr45


    How in the world does cutting back on the police force increase the need and work load of a fire department?

    I'm not sure exactly what Wannabe was referring to, but there are plenty of examples to show that when law enforcement is unable to control a situation it becomes a fire department problem - like riots following the Rodney King verdict, after major sporting events, etc.

    I'm not knocking LE guys by the way, just making an observation.

    I think LE has the advantage of visibility and everyday interaction with citizens (as in directing traffic, patrolling, working in schools, etc.). Even if we do EMS and all the other things that fire departments do these days, we don't interact with the public much unless they are having a bad day.
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  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Here's The Secret.................

    Originally posted by ullrichk


    I think LE has the advantage of visibility and everyday interaction with citizens (as in directing traffic, patrolling, working in schools, etc.). Even if we do EMS and all the other things that fire departments do these days, we don't interact with the public much unless they are having a bad day.
    Exactly!

    We do as much as possible out in the public eye. When weather permits, we are out "on the street" doing something. Anything. Anything other than staying home, hiding behind those big overhead doors. We ride the streets of our area, always looking for anything that is different than the last time we were there, A new home added, A fence that curtailed a favorite shortcut, where the kids are hanging out, anything that could help on a call. We'll stop and hook up to a hydrant and check the Static Pressure, and when possible, flow a little water. We're constantly walking thru homes and buildings that are under construction, always trying to spot potential problems. We attend anything and everything that we are invited to, or anything that we can get into without causing a problem. Most neighborhoods have block parties or some similar event each summer, and we try to get to all of them. We'll go with whatever we have available, taking along some Fire Prevention/Safety material to hand out, and stuff for the kids. I think every kid in our area has several of those "giveaway" helments by now. Back at the station, as soon as the weather warms up enough, the doors are opened and kept open as much as possible. Summer sees our doors stay open days at a time. (we often have members that are up all night) I've seen a 5 am Basketball game more than once. In real Estate it's Location, Location, Location. In the Fire/Rescue Service it's Visibility, Visibility, Visiblity. Make it a way of life. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  15. #15
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Here's The Secret.................

    Originally posted by hwoods


    Exactly!

    We do as much as possible out in the public eye. When weather permits, we are out "on the street" doing something. Anything. Anything other than staying home, hiding behind those big overhead doors. We ride the streets of our area, always looking for anything that is different than the last time we were there, A new home added, A fence that curtailed a favorite shortcut, where the kids are hanging out, anything that could help on a call. We'll stop and hook up to a hydrant and check the Static Pressure, and when possible, flow a little water. We're constantly walking thru homes and buildings that are under construction, always trying to spot potential problems. We attend anything and everything that we are invited to, or anything that we can get into without causing a problem. Most neighborhoods have block parties or some similar event each summer, and we try to get to all of them. We'll go with whatever we have available, taking along some Fire Prevention/Safety material to hand out, and stuff for the kids. I think every kid in our area has several of those "giveaway" helments by now. Back at the station, as soon as the weather warms up enough, the doors are opened and kept open as much as possible. Summer sees our doors stay open days at a time. (we often have members that are up all night) I've seen a 5 am Basketball game more than once. In real Estate it's Location, Location, Location. In the Fire/Rescue Service it's Visibility, Visibility, Visiblity. Make it a way of life. Stay Safe....
    Excellent post, and you are absolutely correct. You hear people say "All firemen do is sit around at the fire station, eat, and sleep". If more people were out doing stuff more often, you probably wouldn't hear it. I think it's a little harder for the Volunteers, but it's still possible to get out there and make yourself visible to gain the support of those who may not otherwise give it to you.

  16. #16
    Forum Member zippo99's Avatar
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    When we started back in '97, and we started from scratch, with our Firefighting team we were laughed at, ignored and even putt down by most of our colleagues, even by the admiralty.
    They saw us as just a few boys playing firemen.
    People didn't see the use of a "FD" at the base, 'cause nothing ever happened that could justify the need of such a team.
    Than came the question of the city FD to have a major exercise at the base.
    The ex. was a success, we had some good and some bad criticism from the city FD, and they gave us advice to enhance our work.
    After some brainstorming we decided to make us more visible to the "public".
    First we had to get good schooling, so we went to National firefighting school, took courses at the air force in helicopter crashes, and went to Great-Britain for training in ship fires. We asked Ops, to notify us for incoming choppers, so we could be stand-by, just incase.
    This was very much appreciated by the crews.
    There was an agreement made with all the ship commanders that they would involve us during fire drills while docked in zeebrugge.
    Again, much appreciated by the crews.
    We had a few incidents at the base, and we always took care off them, with or without the help of the city FD.
    We have our weekly training, and once a month we hold a major evacuation drill in one of the buildings.
    At the annual Navy days, we are present, not just for the show, but on duty.
    People now see us in a different way, they know why we do what we do.
    The admiralty is convinced and ask us what we need to improve our job.
    *The BOSS rules*

  17. #17
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Here's The Secret.................

    Originally posted by firenresq77

    I think it's a little harder for the Volunteers, but it's still possible to get out there and make yourself visible to gain the support of those who may not otherwise give it to you.
    You are correct. We have a 4 person crew that works 0700-1700 weekdays and 2 paramedics around the clock. Volunteers handle all Fire, Rescue, and BLS Services Nights, Weekends and Holidays. The activities that I mentioned in my earlier post were those that Volunteers handled. The full time folks have their 5 days per week filled with inspections, training, maintenence, housekeeping, etc. and the vast majority of "Civic Events" fall on weekends or in the evening. With a high call volume, (well over 7,000 last year) the paramedics are usually nowhere to be found, as they seem to go from one call to the next without a break. I have to give credit to our Career crew for doing an outstanding job with the work they do with the schools in our area. Schools are one place that the Volunteers are not able to carry all the workload, largely because of the weekday nature of the education system. 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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  18. #18
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    In the years that I have lived in my current house, I have had to have PD assistance (for various minor issues) about 8 times. I have had to have FD assistance 0 times. Who's more important? Neither, but who have I had the need for? My FD went to approximately 200 separate addresses last year in all of our calls. My PD will do that in less than a month. Seeing police cars patrolling makes people feel safe. Seeing firetrucks riding around patrolling makes people think your wasting fuel.

    To me, it's two separate worlds that have to work together, but I am never going to try and compete at an equal level with my PD. Will I try for all the funding I can get? Yup, but I'm not going to cry that they get more. Call me crazy, but I feel they deserve more.
    "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?

  19. #19
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    There are three primary reasons why what you say is true.

    1. People ARE afraid of crime. Fire happens to the other guy, but there were six houses on this street brokin into last year. They are not willing to accept a level of crime that puts them at such perceived risk of being victimized. But, people have accepted that 4500 fire deaths per year, 2.? billion in damages per year and whatever else is completely acceptable. They are willing to assume that risk. Why else would we pay people to pick up our trash, but rely on unpaid people to save our lives (and that is not a slam on volunteers).

    2. Cops are a united voice. Cops, for the most part, are all on the same page when it comes to manpower, training, equipment, etc. They are a paramilitary that are, basically, trained to the same level across the country. A cop in Wyoming is looked upon by his peers as equal to his fellow officer in the South Bronx. There is limited factionalization. There are national organizations that address law enforcement issues that effect all police officers. Their approach to problems is different than the fire service.

    3. Cops are smarter than fire fighters. How many cops clean their own bathrooms? How many cops wash their own cars? They are looked upon as professionals in a different light than fire fighters. They have also figured out how to play the game better than the fire service. DARE, PAL and Community Policing are examples of how they foster positive interaction with the public. They make sure that these opportunities for interaction result in postive experiences for the public. When they need to battle for the things they want, the public, by and large, is on their side. Fire fighters, traditionally, do not like to interact with the public. While there certainly are exceptions, the fire service spends their time behind closed doors. They bitch when the kids come to visit the fire house. They bitch when the doorbell rings and they bitch when they are assigned to a detail when they have to interact with the public.

    These issues have solutions. But these solutions require a change, not only in attitude, but in culture. It is unlikely that these necessary changes will occur in our lifetime. IT hasn't happened in 200 years, why should we expect it to happen now.

    PS: The money that is generated by traffic summonses is a pittance compared to the operating budget of a police department. That money is split up with the State, the courts and other programs. There is no possible way that a PD could be financed through fines.

    However, it is relatively easy to have a WELL RUN EMS system that is financially independent. Hmmmm.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42

    To me, it's two separate worlds that have to work together, but I am never going to try and compete at an equal level with my PD. Will I try for all the funding I can get? Yup, but I'm not going to cry that they get more. Call me crazy, but I feel they deserve more.
    It is an easy trap to fall into - the cop-out (if you will excuse the pun) that LE gets more than their fair share. I agree with Bones that LE as a rule is NOT overfunded, but I do think that the fire service as a whole is most definitely underfunded.

    I am fortunate to work for a department that, for the most part, is adequately staffed and equipped. There are plenty of neighboring departments - most but not all of them volunteer - that are barely scraping by and I find that appalling. Their hazards are no less dangerous than mine.
    ullrichk
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