Thread: County wide

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    Default County wide

    What are the Pros, and Cons of a county wide Department, like PGFD?
    Ryan

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    I think it depends on the individual county, and size of the departments within it. Our county is down to about 8 stations because of the individual cities within it. Everyone is annexing territory, and the size of unincorporated county is shrinking constantly. For us it is probably coming, but it will be in the form of the cities taking over their annexation areas, and providing coverage for it.

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    do you have individual tax districts?

    Pros.. standardized training, stadardized apuratus, auto aid on fires.....etc

    cons.... power strugles untill everyone finds there place in the department ... things might be a little tense for the first year or two.. changes in leadership may cause hard fealings and loss of long time experienced members

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    Thumbs up Lotta Pros, Few Cons......................

    Depending on the system you go with, A County Wide operation can be great or not real great or just good. Our operation here is about as seamless as it can get. We run with the closest station as first due, next closest is second due, etc. This selection process crosses County lines also. There is one location in PG County where a standard Box Alarm will get apparatus from 4 different Counties on the First Alarm. And that is how it should be. NOTHING screws up Fire Protection worse than local, petty, small town politics. Standardized Apparatus?? Not here. With 37 individual Volunteer Companies in the County, you have 37 different pumper specifications, 37 Color schemes, and all that goes with that.
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    Default In Cali-

    It is very common and productive to have large county
    fire departments. And talk about the money savings.

    Here are some of our major players-

    CDF- www.fire.ca.gov
    Orange County Fire Auth.- www.ocfa.org
    Ventura County- http://fire.countyofventura.org/
    Santa Barbara County
    Kern County

    And "the king" at 120 stations, protecting 66 cities-

    LA County Fire- www.lacountyfire.org
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 10-18-2004 at 03:52 AM.

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    Default county wide

    Our volunteer departments have always been a county entity, but half are dispatched out of the county seat, and the other half from town 35 miles away. Here on the north end of the county, as hwoods said, small town politics has gotten in the way more than once. The city dispatch center is slow to call vol. dept.'s to give time for city crews to get there so they will not have " wasted" their time. Meanwhile, vol. in the vicinity could have saved a life. Any way, we are about to go to county - wide dispatching, all calls will come out of the county seat, which will work really well for us, it will get rid of the politics, and better trained, more disciplined , dispatchers will be handling all of our calls, and hopefully automatic aid will be done automatically, instead of by request. Will let you know about the outcome.

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    Default Re: Lotta Pros, Few Cons......................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    There is one location in PG County where a standard Box Alarm will get apparatus from 4 different Counties on the First Alarm. And that is how it should be.
    I'm thinking... 10-1? 10-78-70-41-31-93-49? Or an 18 box?
    Remember KQJ943

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    My county has been talking about going county wide since the mid 1970's. The closest weve gotten is a county dispatch system with automatic mutual aid and a county EMS system. I dont see a countywide fire system in my lifetime. Too many issues. 17 pension plans, 17 pay scales, 17 tax rates. I could go on.

    Dave

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    Default Dave...

    Dave- Please consider this. 17 different ways, etc. Before or
    around the civil war, every state had their own paper money.
    Can you image the night mare? The key word is CONSOLIDATION.
    Your agencies and citizens would do so much better under one
    blanket. And consider the cost savings!

    Also consider this. Please read the front page of Firehouse.com.
    Northern Nevada had a MAJOR fire storm. Since there are so many
    "kingdoms" there and multi-ways of doing things, their major
    fire fell apart and people were killed and lost homes. Its a
    joke there, I know because I used to work there.

    Look at LA County- 121 stations serving 66 (thats sixty six)
    cities? They much be doing something right, eh? Orange County
    Fire Authority in Souther California- 61 stations serving 22
    cities and unincorporated area. They have 8 battalions and
    the operation runs smooth.

    County fire departments run smooth. Somethings to consider.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 10-23-2004 at 03:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Re: Lotta Pros, Few Cons......................

    Originally posted by DualReverse


    I'm thinking... 10-1? 10-78-70-41-31-93-49? Or an 18 box?
    There you go thinking again!.... It's 10's area. We now have 49 boxes also, poor Laurel........ Other areas would be 24 and 36. Elsewhere around the State, Elkton (Cecil County) gets a PA station and 2 Del. stations on a box in the Fair Hill area. That's 4 stations on the box, coming from 3 different States. Automatic Aid?? works for us.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    I have to agree with CALFFBOU. I live in Los Angeles County and think the LACoFD is great. Los Angeles County as a whole has somewhere around 375 fire stations. About 160 for LACoFD (an additional 10 are slated to be built in the next few years due to population growth throughout the county), 103 for LAFD (i think), 24 for Long Beach, and the remainder is made up of the other city departments. Some of these remaining small city departments are only a station or two. It makes no sense, IMO, that they do not contract with the LACoFD. Most of these small departments do not have the resources to fight a major emergency structure fire let alone a single alarm assignment. LACoFD or LAFD usually provide the additional manpower - this is not an issue with the departments because our mutual aid out here is flat out great. My point is - if you live in the most populated county in the United States (10 million heads and growing), and your department doesn't have the resources to fight at least a single alarm residential assignment then you should contract out with a larger agency.

    Oh yeah - take New York City - the nation's largest fire department. I did some checking with the US Census and NYC is actually comprised of 5 counties - which I believe some people call burroughs. This is a perfect example of consolidation. What would be the consensus with FDNY - is it better off as a large agency or should it be broken up into smaller deparments? I think most people would agree - that the larger department is better.
    Last edited by BlackBear; 10-24-2004 at 03:35 AM.

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    Default Thanks...

    Thanks Bear.

    California is big on major county departments. We have-
    LA 100+ stations, Orange 60, Ventura 34 or so, Kern County
    (I dont know how many stations), Alameda 19 stations. The
    list goes one.

    It is a smart way to do business vs. little kingdoms all over
    the place. Pooling resources, manpaper and money makes for a
    smooth operation.

    Lastly- Sometimes (not alway) the military is a good model
    for large scale operations. They were/are the mirror for early
    ICS. Think about it.

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    Here's some stuff on Rankin County, central Mississippi. www.rankincounty.org/fc

    "There are twenty-one departments operating out of thirty-five stations with a total of about 450 firefighters couty wide. Of these, approximately 300 are volunteer. Over 50% of our firefighters are also certified to at least the first responder level, with many certified to the EMT or paramedic level. We are also proud to report that Rankin County has more certified firefighters than any other county in the state.

    Our insurance ratings varies from an IS) 8 to an ISO 5 saving the homeowner an average of 42% on homeowners insurance "


    Basically, there are 13 completely volunteer departments, bout 5 combos, and 3 totally paid. My sdepartment *Langford FD* is run out of one station. We've got an FL80 Gatco pumper, a 1972 International Foam pumper*not used*, two chevrolet tankers, a ford portahydrent, and a Ford E350 Rescue. We've got one of the largest districts in the county for a single station and we run about 250-275 calls per year. We do a lot of mutual aid with Evergreen VFD, Resivoir FD, and Brandon FD.

    The people in our district like having us around because it's cheaper than having the city of Brandon or Flowood annex them. The county likes having us because they don't have to pay us. Our IS rating is a 7 or an 8, can't remember.

    Our county uses a high-band setup as well as an 800 Mhz setup for commmunications.

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    We end up running a lot like HWoods, closest department gets the call, neighbors are mutual aid. And we manage to do it without County assistance. No County-wides in my area. Personally don't see a need for it. I'm at the furthest end of my County and our needs/requirements are vastly different from the opposite end, along with being almost an hour apart. I am, also, just across a bridge from the next county over. Mutual Aid runs both ways, it's setup between departments and have no problems. Training is provided at County or Township academies. I teach at a Township one, I send my guys to my County or the next County over for their training, whichever has the more convenient class times. We are dispatched by our local PD. We don't have lost radio transmissions or a need for repeaters all over the place. We have our neighboring towns frequencies in our radios so if we go visit them for assistance, we change the channel and can communicate with them. They have the same setup.

    My County does have some mutual aid setups designed for mass incidents or very large incidents, like forest fires. In the past, they were nightmares with the County really having no idea of who was there, where they were, what they were doing. In the last few years, they have made improvements to the system and have much better accountability. Radio wise, all I hear from County dispatched companies is how they would like to get away from that. There are monthly County Association meetings where you can find out what's going on with the rest of the county and such. They are good for sharing information.

    I guess if you have a pretty standard "neighborhood" throughout your county, it could work. My needs for dockside firefighting do not really transfer well with the rural tanker farm fires at the other end of the county.
    "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?

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    Bones, your FD sounds a lot like ours as far as being vastly different from the other end of the county an hour away.........

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    Maybe you guys are on opposite ends of the same county
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

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