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    Thumbs up Staffing backpedaling by bureaucrats

    FDNY Restores Staffing At Some Engine Companies

    http://real.ny1.com:8080/ramgen/real...01_141640hi.rm

    FEBRUARY 01ST, 2005

    The Fire Department is restoring five-man crews on about a quarter of the fire engines in the city, Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced Tuesday.

    Effective Wednesday, 49 of the city’s 197 engine companies will be staffed with an additional firefighter, bringing the total number of trucks with five-man crews to 60. The rest are staffed with four firefighters each.

    In December, the FDNY cut the fifth man from those 49 engine companies, exercising a contract provision when the percentage of firefighters on sick leave exceeds 7.5 percent. The department says sick leave has now dropped below the threshold.

    The firefighters’ union has been very critical of the staff reduction, saying it endangered lives.

    The reversal comes after three fires in the city claimed six lives in the past two weeks, three of them firefighters

    FTM-PTB

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    FFFred, what a shame. Expert/experienced advice from the likes of Dunn and many others means nothing to these guys. They need to be provided with indisputable proof -- Body Bags.

    Do you think attending the three funerals and having to face the families of these brothers may have had an effect upon their decision (gained a conscience)? I tell ya, I bet they shutter to think of what the headlines would have been had these Engines not been fully staffed due to the weather conditions. Now its time to CYA.

    In any case, its a small step in the right direction to see these Engine Co's back to full staffing.


    Stay safe.

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    In December, the FDNY cut the fifth man from those 49 engine companies, exercising a contract provision when the percentage of firefighters on sick leave exceeds 7.5 percent. The department says sick leave has now dropped below the threshold.
    Seems like their just following the contract to me.
    "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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    Thats what they want you and everyone else to believe. They took a big hit in the media over this in the past few weeks and since this is an election year for the mayor he doesn't want to give anymore ammo to his opponenets. Truth was part of the savings in the Mayors budget he presented for this comming fiscal year included the reduction in staffing as a cost savings. He didn't want to give us those 5th men back.

    Truth be told the Medical leave issue can me manipulated if they wanted to. There are guys on Medical Leave or but they won't retire some of them. But then there are many I know of that were recently granted disablity retirements...thus taking them out of the ML figures. Also they have placed many guys on Light Duty so this drops the Medical Leave numbers.

    If you don't think they desprately wanted the % to drop below 7.5% you are nuts. Just reading the recent events regarding staffing, response times, harnesses and ropes, one could see they bend the truth on many occasions and make outright lies on others.

    In fact after the last round of firehouse closures they released figures which stated times remained the same or even dropped...but then recanted in smaller artilces later after it was discovered they used incorrect numbers. No one should believe the numbers released by Mr. Magoo and his boss Mayor Bombburg.

    FTM-PTB

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    tny
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Seems like their just following the contract to me.
    Bones, unfortunately you are correct the contract is the contract and a foolish one at that. However, in Dec the Sick rate was 7.54% in Jan it was 7.49%. -- .05 % points diff. Just seems very coincidental and well timed. Paranoia is not one of my character traits. I usually try real hard to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and look at the whole picture.

    .05 % points diff is what is being used to justify the 5th man that makes a critical diff in getting the lines in operation especially on the Multi Story walk-ups and enhances civilian and FF safety/survivability. If the Administration was truly sincere about the safety of FF's and civilians they'd take another look at this contract.

    Sorry Mam we couldn't get to your child because of .05 % points. Or, sorry Mrs. FF widow we were delayed in getting the line deployed to the floor above the fire where your husband was operating (searching).

    Maybe I'm just being Naïve.

    Stay Safe.

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    Bones, unfortunately you are correct the contract is the contract and a foolish one at that
    Knowing you are still without one....is this something that you guys try to get removed when possible? I'm betting the City would not want to remove it, but...
    "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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    NY Sun
    COUNCIL MEMBER SAYS STATIONS SHOULD HAVE FIVE FIREFIGHTERS
    Staff Reporter of the Sun

    Staten Island Council Member Michael McMahon introduced legislation yesterday that would require five firefighters be assigned to every engine and ladder truck in the city, a move that flies in the face of the mayor's budget proposal, which envisioned saving some $17 million by implementing four firefighter trucks throughout the Fire Department. Mr. McMahon called on the mayor to look past the bottom line and "do the right thing. This is a public safety issue, not a fiscal one," Mr. McMahon said.


    FTM-PTB

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    If you had to choose though, would you rather have 5 four man engines out there or 4 five man engines? Tough choice to make huh?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Not really, give me 4 engines staffed with 5. I rarely run out of pumping capacity.

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    Lightbulb 4 - 5 man Engines here.

    Bro,

    That isn't hard at all. No I would rather have 4-5 man Engines than 5-4 man Engines. Why???

    Because with a 5 man Engine I can efficently place 1 line in operation with each company so I would get 4 lines into operation with 4 Engines a 1 to 1 ratio Engines to Hose lines. Whereas with 4-man Engines since there is no door man to feed hose to the nozzle team we need to team up 2 Engines to get one line into operation so I could get with 5 -4 man Engines 2 lines stretched and into operation and I would either have to wait for another Engine or the 5th Engine would take an excessive amount of time to get the line stretched. A. 2 to 1 ratio of Hoselines to Engines.
    Also if something should happen to the nozzle team the door man and control man are ready to relieve the nozzle team and adds further to our efficeny and ability to keep a hose line on the fire. Also this keeps the members working within their own company and with pairs for safety thus the span of control and oversite by the same officer throught the process.

    I really don't care if it would take longer to get to a fire because that affects the communitties safety while the staffing on the rig affects my safety more. It would decrease the chances of me becoming another Kevin Kane(R.I.P.) The community would have to fight city hall and decide if they are comfortable with having fewer Engines increasing the response times. However under 4 man Engines procedures dictate you need to wait for the 2nd Due Engine to stretch properly and safely. So there really is no savings in response times.

    So no that isn't a hard decision at all.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 02-03-2005 at 05:01 PM.

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    Default Re: 4 - 5 man Engines here.

    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Bro,

    That isn't hard at all. No I would rather have 4-5 man Engines than 5-4 man Engines. Why???

    Because with a 5 man Engine I can efficently place 1 line in operation with each company so I would get 4 lines into operation with 4 Engines a 1 to 1 ratio Engines to Hose lines. Whereas with 4-man Engines since there is no door man to feed hose to the nozzle team we need to team up 2 Engines to get one line into operation so I could get with 5 -4 man Engines 2 lines stretched and into operation and I would either have to wait for another Engine or the 5th Engine would take an excessive amount of time to get the line stretched. A. 2 to 1 ratio of Hoselines to Engines.
    Also if something should happen to the nozzle team the door man and control man are ready to relieve the nozzle team and adds further to our efficeny and ability to keep a hose line on the fire. Also this keeps the members working within their own company and with pairs for safety thus the span of control and oversite by the same officer throught the process.

    I really don't care if it would take longer to get to a fire because that affects the communitties safety while the staffing on the rig affects my safety more. It would decrease the chances of me becoming another Kevin Kane(R.I.P.) The community would have to fight city hall and decide if they are comfortable with having fewer Engines increasing the response times. However under 4 man Engines procedures dictate you need to wait for the 2nd Due Engine to stretch properly and safely. So there really is no savings in response times.

    So no that isn't a hard decision at all.

    FTM-PTB
    Great, now how do we relay that to the administrators that have to decide assignments, and how do we convince Joe Q. Taxpayer that sees HIS firehouse down the street unmanned/unvehicled/empty that some guys were sick but he will still be covered adequately?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Great, now how do we relay that to the administrators that have to decide assignments...
    They already know and understand it. Hell we have many documents and studies done by their predecessors who state we need 5 men (and 6 in high-rise areas). They are under pressure from political hacks and bean counters who don't care. These guys are usually high society aristocrats who don't live on the 6th floor of a Tenement in Brownsville, Brooklyn or the 5th Floor of a Brownstone in Harlem. They don't see fires in their neighborhoods every week and Fire Engines every day. So it is far removed from them and they won't be affected.

    And against better judgement they ignore the studies and even state lies in the media that many studies state it is safe and efficent to operate with less than 5 men on an Engine.

    What needs to be done is to convince & educate the public and inform them of how this affects them. (Which is already being done)

    ...and how do we convince Joe Q. Taxpayer that sees HIS firehouse down the street unmanned/unvehicled/empty that some guys were sick but he will still be covered adequately?
    I'm not really sure what you mean or are insuinating by this statement.

    I would rather show up with 5 men on the Engine and properly stretch a line than show up short handed sooner and waiting for the 2nd due to assist.

    If the politicans want to close companies in neighborhoods...well they will face the consequences and will have to answer to the voters. That is the one tangible thing that all civilians understand. I would still show up with enough men to efficently and safely stretch and operate a handline on the firefloor. That is the begining and end of my concern.

    FTM-PTB

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    Glad you guys are getting some staffing back...sorry it had to be at such a high price. FTM-KTF
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    just for curiosity's sake, is that 5 men plus the officer, or 5 men including the officer?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    FFRED. I am not saying that I disagree with your facts and figures about 4 or 5 man companies and their efficiency rates. I will say that I think they apply much more to your situation than the rest of the country however. You guys have alot more stuff that goes up than the rest of us.

    I work for the 8th largest fire department in the country. We ride 100 % 4 men companies. Engines, trucks, & rescues. I dare say that every engine company in this city can get a line stretched out, in operation, and flowing an effective fire stream all by themselves. I readily admit that it is because most of our lines, I would say higher than 90% are 1 3/4" preconnected lines with lengths less than 250'. The majority of our fires are single family dwellings or 2 story apartments.

    I understand that is not the case where you are, but because of these kinds of facts I would bet that a vast majority of the fire departments in this country would opt for more companies with 4 than fewer companies with 5.

    I do hope you guys get all you need.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-08-2005 at 12:32 AM.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Lightbulb Engine Work

    just for curiosity's sake, is that 5 men plus the officer, or 5 men including the officer?
    When we speak about 4 or 5 men Engines we are speaking of exactly that...4 or 5 men who perform the Engine Company tasks. The officer is there to suppervise & determine line placement and monitor conditions and make sure that we are safe while operating...also he is there to determine the progress we are making and report to the chief.

    So when I speak of a 4 man Engine this is what we have:
    1-Engine Co. Officer
    1-Engine Co. Chauffuer
    1-Nozzle Man
    1-Back-up Man
    1-Control Man

    A 5 Man Engine has:
    1-Engine Co. Officer
    1-Engine Co. Chauffuer
    1-Nozzle Man
    1-Back-up Man
    1-Door Man
    1-Control Man

    I work for the 8th largest fire department in the country. We ride 100 % 4 men companies. Engines, trucks, & rescues. I dare say that every engine company in this city can get a line stretched out, in operation, and flowing an effective fire stream all by themselves. I readily admit that it is because most of our lines, I would say higher than 90% are 1 3/4" preconnected lines with lengths less than 250'. The majority of our fires are single family dwellings or 2 story apartments.

    I understand that is not the case where you are, but because of these kinds of facts I would bet that a vast majority of the fire departments in this country would opt for more companies with 4 than fewer companies with 5.
    Bro,

    As an Engineman I am curious as to a few things and I always like to toss the Engine talk around...

    1. What do you guys do if all you need is 3 or 4 lengths or what if you need 7 or 8 lengths?
    2. How do get a line longer than 5 lengths (250 ft) together if it is preconnected?
    3. Are those fires since they aren't exactly 250ft. away less dangerous and you can afford to waste extra time getting the proper line into position?
    4. Who feeds the nozzle team hose while they are advancing on the fire?
    5. Who makes sure there are no kinks in the handline?
    6. Are your FFs trained in the academy at properly estimating the stretch needed to reach a fire?

    I'll let you in on a little secret. There are FDNY companies who rarely stretch more than 5 lengths to get the water on the fire. They respond mostly in residential areas like it would seem most of your dept does. However 5 to 10% of the time they need to stretch more to get to the fire. Thats why our hose bed is set up for however much hose we need for that fire. Not just one set length

    It for some reason never got much discussion or thought but there was a fire not so long ago where I recall that a major contributing factor as found by NIOSH to two brothers dying in a fire was that they had way too much hose thus spagettii thus kinks thus lost water flow thus a understaffed Engine Co. nozzle team that overcome with a fire. They used the preconnects for almost everything...No Control man...No Door man... Poor stretching, poor techniques. Where I ask was this Depts Chiefs and Training Division?

    I wasn't always a FDNY FF and in my old dept if they had given me the option of opening another company or adding a member to my company...I would have taken the extra member. Remember the extra company is really for the citizens...the extra man is for your safety and to make sure you make it home to your family. Firemen come first...I worry more about my brothers and my own well being before civilians, always.

    PS-When I worked there which sounds more like your situation there were many times we needed more than the preconnects could provide...however the staffing, coordination and hose stretching options weren't available. Not acceptable.

    I've worked in so called 3 & 4 man companies(more like 2 & 3 if you count the actuall firemen)...you can have them. They aren't really that safe and you are only asking for trouble.

    There is a reason for those 6 seats in the Apparatus... They aren't there to throw the groceries in either. They should be filled with firefighters. One can only cut corners so far before you get into trouble.

    Thanks for your thoughts...And remember I'm not looking for a argument with you...just having a spirited discussion on why things are done a certain way.

    FTM-PTB

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    --------------------------------------------------------
    Questions by FFFred:
    1. What do you guys do if all you need is 3 or 4 lengths or what if you need 7 or 8 lengths?
    2. How do get a line longer than 5 lengths (250 ft) together if it is preconnected?
    3. Are those fires since they aren't exactly 250ft. away less dangerous and you can afford to waste extra time getting the proper line into position?
    4. Who feeds the nozzle team hose while they are advancing on the fire?
    5. Who makes sure there are no kinks in the handline?
    6. Are your FFs trained in the academy at properly estimating the stretch needed to reach a fire?
    --------------------------------------------------------

    1 & 2. 3 or 4 lennghts would get the preconnected line. Additionally we carry 150' 1 3/4" hose bundled in a standpipe kit, more commonly referred to as "hotel pack" around here. We could lay the preconnect and add the hotel pack. Most commonly however we carry 750' of 2 1/2" reverse layed and wyed into (2) 1 3/4" lines, both 150' long. The last 50' sections of each are bundled seperately, but together so that laying it out is not a problem. I actually wish that we just had (1) 1 3/4" line coming off of the wye and had other companies use their hotel pack on the other side, but thats not how it is currently set up.

    3. No

    4. Good question, but it always gets done. We try to have 50-100' of slack in the house right in front of the door so that the slack is not being pulled through the entire length of the lay.

    5. We do. The only kinks should be in the slack that we have pulled to the door, unless we are going around a bunch of corners. This is normally not the case.

    6. Yes


    As I stated before, this is much more important where you are than most other places because of the number of stretches that you have going up. We do not have that problem. All of our hi-rise building have stand pipes. The only time we have to lay out lengths longer than our preconnects are at low-rise apartment complexes where there is not adequate drive up access to all buildings or extremely large commercial buildings where the wye is probably gonna be disconnected to use the 2 1/2" anyway.

    We are not having to lay lines up multiple flights stairs or around a bunch of corners.

    I know you guys have a bunch of unique hazards, I hope you guys can get all the manpower you can. I know that you are also aware that you guys have it better than anyone else in the world, as far as manpower goes. How many other fire depts in the US do you know of that routinely ride with 5 & 6 guys on all of their companies. I don't know of any except you guys. You may know more than I do, but I know there are not very many compared to the 20,000 plus fire depts across the country. How many can we find that don't even ride with 4?

    That was my point, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to this.
    More towns are going to opt for more companies with shorter staffing than fewer companies with more staffing. How do I know? Look around the country brother - they already do.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-09-2005 at 05:21 PM.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Lightbulb Door man and General Engine Co. Operations

    MemphisE34a,

    Thank you for your answers. I find many of them interesting. Many of which also I feel bring up more questions that everyone who is assigned to an Engine should be asking. I know many overlook basic Engine operations as simple...however there I feel is much more to it.

    You mentioned many things that my former dept also did in regards to stretching hose lines. Many of which I can't imagine anyone would really find acceptable in a proffesional FD. I know I never liked some of the hose-stretching techniques when I worked there. And I'm sure as you noted that your procedures aren't unique to your dept. as there are many FDs accross the country with similar circumstances.

    You mention that the duties of feeding the line into the door and around bends isn't assigned. Why? Isn't that a critical function that if overlooked could lead to tragic consequences? How does it always get done. I imagine it does get overlooked sometimes as I know most firemen like to be up on the nozzle or as close to it as possible.

    If it isn't assigned at the begining of your tour isn't it possible to be overlooked at a fire? I'll offer just one example of how this can cause problems...

    Imagine you are on the nozzle team moving down the cellar stairs and you get hung up. No one is feeding the hose to you and you are stuck in the flue being created in the staircase. Now you have two options:

    1. Backout of the stairs and abort the attack on the fire. Dangerous and unacceptable because it will be very difficult to backout while flowing water and no door man.

    2. Leave the nozzle man by himself (unaceptable and against most FD operating policies) and the back-up man (probably the officer) must return up the stairs to find out where the hose is getting hung up. Then continue their advance into the fire floor.

    This doesn't even address the issue that I imagine is overlooked by the misnomer of 4 man staffing as it pertains to the vast majority of FDs out there.... The officer I imagine is counted as part of that 4. How exactly does he supervise while playing combination back-up/door man? How safe is this for the men? How does he give progress reports to the chief while advancing the hose line? Is he really able to pay attention to everything and monitor all conditions?

    Recently some friends of mine in their mid-sized dept. performed an experiment where they had companies stretch into a building and do it as they saw fit. Some did well some didn't. One of the main things they learned was the failure to have a control/doorman who would make sure the proper amount of line was stretched, flaked out and all the kinks removed. Also that the nozzle team had enough hose.

    Some were able to stretch all the way to the fire...however some thought they had short stretched and another line would have to be streched that was longer. Some didn't know it but they had more hose that could be stretched in. However the lack of the assigned Control or Door man prevented them from realizing this. Sometimes it was done other times it was completely disregarded...creating the need to break up the nozzle team.

    Also something you noted in your reply struck me as odd as it would appear to reduce the safety and redundancy in your Engine Operations. You noted a bed of 2 1/2 was finished off with a wye appliance and 2 different 150 ft. 1 3/4 lines.(My former dept along with many which I am familiar with also do this, I don't agree with it so this isn't an attack on your dept just a commentary on what I view as a larger issue for many US FDs.)

    Now I can't understand if your primary line is a long stretch using this option on your hose bed...How is it your back-up line, which is to provide safety for the operating members, has to come from the same source(ie.-same valve, same 2 1/2" hose, same appliance).

    If that 2 1/2" fails now you have two Engine Companies in real trouble not just one. Now although it recently happened and not all the facts are out there and I am not one who likes to use conjecture on a subject such as this, what has been reported about the Bronx Fire last month is that one line had water troubles and the back-up one didn't. Now if they were both comming from the same source as noted in your operations as described there would have been truckies on the firefloor in trouble as well as the floor above guys. Not an acceptable risk

    Also do you pre-assign a member to watch over the appliance? As the hose does have the tendency to rock while water is flowing and shut off, this could inadvertantly shut off the hoseline. (Now I say pre-assign because it seems a little silly to wait until 0300 for a company officer who has many things on his mind to remember this task.) However this would rob you of a body which I'm sure you also need elsewhere.

    Regardless of where anyone works, I really don't know of to many situations where there aren't some difficult bends and turns in the line. Even a manufactured home on wheels will have a need for some good turns into the front door. These are just somethings that everyone should consider when stretching handlines, whether it takes one Engine or teaming up three Engines there are roles that need to be filled IMO. Perhaps outlining them and assigning tasks will make it easier to show the civilains and politicains why you need adequate staffing.

    The Knob is the Job!

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 02-10-2005 at 08:20 AM.

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    Definately some good points. I'll try to address them.

    First of all, whats a cellar?

    Second, I am a slacker on the hose advancing side. Unfortunately my nozzleman is gonna work a little harder than he is supposed to because I try to pay more attention to the enviroment and what is happening in it than I do to pulling hose for him. Ideally, my driver can get hooked up on his own (most of the time) and both firefighters are available for the stretch leaving me off of the line altogether.

    I guess what normally happens is that inevitably, some fireman always get bundled up behind the nozzle. When we need slack, we say so and one of them will drop back and get it.

    Laying of a back-up line is not impossible because you are using wyed lines.

    I think in all of this you lost my over-all point. We shoot ourself in the foot here like we do with so many other issues. Would I love to have the extra manpower? Of course. I hope you get it as well. Local politicians and most fire chiefs (also a ploitician)however play the odds. And the odds say that when a fire occurs, the firefighters are going to show up and handle the problem as best as they possibly can no matter how short staffed or how terrible their equipment. Additionally most of the time they are handled without injury or loss of life. I agree that they definately can have tragic outcomes. But the public says who cares. A small town somewhere (search the forums) voted to not raise taxes to supplement staffing on the fire department because the fire that just occured in their town that killed 2 or 3 people was "a tragic series of events that might occur once every 10 years." It definately wasn't worth the extra money that would have to be spent by taxpayers.

    Here is the solution. Convince your company to convince your officers, to convince their chiefs, that the lack of personnel in your department is causing unsafe conditions for you to be fighting fires and stop going in them. Start watching everything burn to the ground and tell everyone that asks that it wasn't safe to send fireman inside because of all the tragic things that could happen because you are short staffed.

    Why it won't work. Anyone that is a firefighter (not just carrying the name) will not be able to stand there and watch this occur. Therefore we continue to be raped by politicians and do the best we can with what we have.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-10-2005 at 07:49 AM.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  21. #21
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    FFRED and Memphis...GREAT discussion guys!!! Some very interesting thoughts and viewpoints.......Thanks!

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    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    Definately some good points. I'll try to address them.

    First of all, whats a cellar?
    The below ground level of a structure, aka a basement.

    Second, I am a slacker on the hose advancing side. Unfortunately my nozzleman is gonna work a little harder than he is supposed to because I try to pay more attention to the enviroment and what is happening in it than I do to pulling hose for him. Ideally, my driver can get hooked up on his own (most of the time) and both firefighters are available for the stretch leaving me off of the line altogether.
    A good fire engine company officer is "never off the line"...he's in there with the troops. If it's just the knobman and the company officer doing the inital stretch of an attack line while the driver/chauffeur/MPO/engineer is hooking up the hydrant or setting pressures at the panel, the company has to help the nozzleman and have situational awareness.

    I guess what normally happens is that inevitably, some fireman always get bundled up behind the nozzle. When we need slack, we say so and one of them will drop back and get it.
    When there are only two of you on the line, who do you order..yourself?

    Laying of a back-up line is not impossible because you are using wyed lines.
    Huh?

    I think in all of this you lost over-all point. We shoot ourself in the foot here like we do with so many other issues. Would I love to have the extra manpower? Of course. I hope you get it as well. Local politicians and most fire chiefs (also a ploitician)however play the odds. And the odds say that when a fire occurs, the firefighters are going to show up and handle the problem as best as they possibly can no matter how short staffed or how terrible their equipment. Additionally most of the time they are handled without injury or loss of life.
    Only by the grace of God and sheer luck!

    I agree that they definately can have tragic outcomes. But the public says who cares. A small town somewhere (search the forums) voted to not raise taxes to supplement staffing on the fire department because the fire that just occured in their town that killed 2 or people happened was "a tragic seeries of events that might occur once every 10 years." It definately wasn't worth the extra money that would have to be spent by taxpayers.
    That was Ipswich, Massachusetts.. a town that has a combination department with 3 firefighters on duty per shift covering 3 square miles. Ironically, the staffing matter was brought up again when a stable burned at 10 horses were killed. Some people cared more for the horses that the family that died...

    Here is the solution. Convince your company to convince your officers, to convince their chiefs, that the lack of personnel in your department is causing unsafe conditions for you to be fighting fires and stop going in them. Start watching everything burn to the ground and tell everyone that asks that it wasn't safe to send fireman inside becaue of all the tragic things that could happen because you are short staffed.
    There are fire departments that are known for not attacking a fire until all the ducks are in a row... even if it takes 30 minutes to line them up. Here in New England, they are knownm as "cellar savers" and "parking lot construction companies"

    Why it won't work. Anyone that is a firefighter (not just carrying the name) will not be able to stand there and watch this occur. Therefore we continue to be raped by politicians and do the best we can with what we have.
    We will continue to be raped if we hide behind the firehouse doors, play the partisan political game by kissng the butts of those who pay us only lip service (and this goes for both sides of the aisle), argue over career vs. call/volunteer, run our call and VFDs like boys clubs, refuse to abide by nationally recognized standards, refuse to truly report our response times and report using NFIRS.

    We will still do the job, for...

    we the willing, facing the knowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so few for so many we are now qualified to do everything with nothing!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I'm not sure I understand your comment here. Perhaps I didn't explain myself completely...
    Laying of a back-up line is not impossible because you are using wyed lines.
    If you have your primary handline comming off 2 1/2" hose with a gated Wye and from the way you described it and I understood it the Second Due Engine will use the second line off the Wye...that means if the 2 1/2" hose should burst or get some severe kinks in it or god forbid the truck place its tormentors on it that now BOTH Engines and the primary and secondary lines will be OOS.

    I recomend that everyone if they get a chance take some HOT classes at one of the national symposiums or hire some of the same guys for a local or regional class of your own. They usually do a great job of showing safe operating practices and show many different methods so as to compare them against eachother.

    Sorry about the terminology confusion earlier, a Cellar is any portion of a building that is more than half underground. A basement is less than half underground.

    FTM-PTB
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    Last edited by FFFRED; 02-10-2005 at 09:06 AM.

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    1st of all, that was a joke. The point was we have few to no cellars or basements.

    Gonzo, you can pic anything apart line by line. Comment on the whole thing, not just a sentence out of context. Of course I am in there with my guys. Of course I pull hose when its just the nozzleman and myself. My statement was that between the two, I try to pay attention more and pull less. When I have 2 guys on the line, I am not pulling. I am right beside or slightly behind my nozzleman watching whats happening.

    When its just the 2 of us who do I order back? Read the original post, its in there.

    Only by sheer luck and the grace of god. That was the whole point.

    The town cared more about 10 dead horses than the family that died. Again you have proved my point.

    You are bustin my balls over the fact that we operate without 5 and 6 people on a company. You state that you are aware of fire departments that don't operate until they have there ducks in a row, yet you call them 'cellar savers.' So which is it? Your bustin my balls for operating like we do and are your bustin their balls by labeling them with a derogartory term for not beginning operations until they say they have adequate personnel on the scene.

    How many people do you routinely ride with?

    quote:
    "We will continue to be raped if we hide behind the firehouse doors, play the partisan political game by kissng the butts of those who pay us only lip service (and this goes for both sides of the aisle), argue over career vs. call/volunteer, run our call and VFDs like boys clubs, refuse to abide by nationally recognized standards, refuse to truly report our response times and report using NFIRS."

    I have seen some of your posts. Sounds like you.

    Okay, I felt bad after saying that so I came back for an edit. All of that may not sound like you (it made me feel better for at the time), but I am sure you have been involved in the paid/volunteer debate.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    FFFRED,

    Same message about the cellar.

    I understand your point, and its a good one. The following is also possible with an additional engine company.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-10-2005 at 10:05 AM.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Posted by MemphisE34a

    You are bustin my balls over the fact that we operate without 5 and 6 people on a company. You state that you are aware of fire departments that don't operate until they have there ducks in a row, yet you call them 'cellar savers.' So which is it? Your bustin my balls for operating like we do and are your bustin their balls by labeling them with a derogartory term for not beginning operations until they say they have adequate personnel on the scene.

    How many people do you routinely ride with?
    First of all... I am not busting your stones... far from it. My FD has 3 houses and 18 to a shift if we have everybody in. That means an average of 2 and 1 on the engine, 2 FFs on both Ladders, the Rescue and the group's Deputy in the car if we are fully staffed. During the blizzard of 2005, the Chief upped the storm staffing to 20 Firefighters, 6 line officer and a Deputy for the two days of th storm..3 and 1 on every rig except for the Rescue, which seats 2. Damn we were in heaven... Of course, nothing major occurred.

    The "ducks in a row"... take a simple room and contents fire... simple ICS, vent the fire, attack it, overhaul it, everyone goes home... right?

    Some department's don't do a damn thing until they have everyone wearing the "proper vest" and second alarm assignment staged before they even begin the fire attack on a room and contents... (maybe that's why they call in a second alarm to staging)henceforth...cellar savers....

    Some refuse to call for mutual aid or even a second alarm as a "matter of pride"... or a clash of egos... they wear out their initial alarm response and end up losing the building... henceforth... cellar savers.

    Some will call for help after the fire to pick up hose... abusing the mutual aid system.

    How do we do it with 14 and 4? Callbacks for working fires and other major incidents, we aren't afraid to call for help by striking additional alarms.

    My quote...
    "We will continue to be raped if we hide behind the firehouse doors, play the partisan political game by kissing the butts of those who pay us only lip service (and this goes for both sides of the aisle), argue over career vs. call/volunteer, run our call and VFDs like boys clubs, refuse to abide by nationally recognized standards, refuse to truly report our response times and report using NFIRS."

    I have seen some of your posts. Sounds like you.

    Okay, I felt bad after saying that so I came back for an edit. All of that may not sound like you (it made me feel better for at the time), but I am sure you have been involved in the paid/volunteer debate.
    Yes, I have been involved...

    Support the standards, especially NFPA 1403 for live fire training? Damn skippy...there's no excuse for killing our own in training.

    Seeing other communities roll through your town because your chief had an arguement with their chief years ago and still holds a grudge or vice verca? Damn skippy I will comment on it. A few years ago, we were called to a fire in a neighboring community for mutual aid. The FD there was too afraid of their Chief to start anything without his orders. We pulled up, went in and out the fire out. The "chief" arrived 20 minutes after the tones went out, they had an acting officer in charge of the fire scene and the family would have been homeless if we didn't take action. Their "chief" arrived and was ****ed at us for "superceding his authority".

    The same chief used a PPV attack in a balloon frame Victorian a year later and created... "a cellar hole". That fire was the straw that broke the camel's back and he was forced to resign.

    I don't agree with the two hatting syndrome, but if you are a career FD and want to volunteer in your community and it has no IAFF representation, or if you will not be put into the position that you would be responding mutual aid to your own community, then don't ask, don't tell...

    I had a friend in Vermont who saw a sign recruiting members for his town's VFD. He went in to talk to the "chief"... who refused to give him an application beecause he was a "flatlander" and not born in town. They still have the sign up, by the way and only have 2 to 3 people responding on calls during the day if they are lucky, when my friend is availble...

    When I see a call or volunteer firefighter post inaccuracies against the IAFF, I will post comment on it. When an IAFF member posts inaccuracies about call and volunteer firefighters I will post comment on it.

    Other than that...no offense taken!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 02-10-2005 at 04:14 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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