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  1. #21
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    Default Candidates interviewed for fire district task force [Salem, OH]

    Fire task force sees few full-time spots
    BY RYAN GILLIS Journal Staff Writer

    SALEM - The proposed joint fire district could be manned by as many as 40
    trained firefighters, only two or three of those will be full-time employees.

    At the first meeting of the task force commissioned to develop a working plan for the joint fire district, Chairman Greg Oesch said he would recommend at least two full-time positions, a chief and a fire inspector, and possibly a third administrator to assist when those individuals are not available.

    Oesch said council had envisioned a department serving the fire district consisting of 35 to 40 men. However, the exact number and how those men would be paid has yet to be determined by the task force.

    One possibility is that firefighting personnel be paid as part-time employees of the fire district. Another is that they would be paid each time they respond to an emergency.

    Currently, the Salem Fire Department is staffed by 16 full-time employees. Members of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department are paid each time they respond to an emergency.

    The board which would be established to govern the fire district would also be assisted by a paid, appointed clerk. Oesch said some research needs to be done to determine how the clerk is paid, suggesting the salary could be set based on the budget established for the fire district.

    While the task force was established to develop a working model and examine the feasibility of the joint fire district, Oesch said the final decision on how the department is manned and how those employees are paid will be determined by the fire district board.

    Task force members placed a high priority on determining the personnel structure and costs, followed by the district's insurance and other fixed costs.

    The city has pledged $400,000 annually toward the fire district's operation and an additional $200,000 for the first three years to cover start-up costs. Those township's current fire levies would also fund annual operations.

    Those levies include two continuous levies generating a combined $44,000 annually and a five-year safety levy which is divided between the township's police and fire departments. Perry Clerk Susan Johnston, who also serves as the task force secretary, said the fire department's share of that levy is about $58,000 annually.

    Johnston added that levy is currently in the first year of collection since approval.

    The fire district board has the authority to place tax levies before voters if the money contributed by both entities is insufficient to cover the new department's costs. They do not, however, have the ability to impose taxes.

    Oesch also said the goal of the task force was to develop a working plan that did not require funding from additional levies. "We are going to work with the dollars that are available," he said.

    One question for the task force to consider is establishing the fire district department as its own entity or integrating it with the two existing fire departments. Oesch said council has envisioned the fire district department as a totally new entity.

    "It will become an entity of its own, and I think the intention right now of city council is that everybody will be able to apply for jobs, but there will be no integration," he said.

    The task force also reviewed inventory lists from the city and township departments. Members have proposed an arrangement where equipment, including vehicles and turn-out equipment, and facilities will be leased to the fire district for a small fee.

    The task force will meet Sunday to tour the buildings and examine the equipment of both departments. Committee member Frank Zamarelli will be calling the chiefs of both the Cardinal Fire District, located in Canfield, and the Western Reserve Fire District, in Poland, to arrange tours.

    John Reid will begin research into Insurance Services Offices (ISO) ratings, which are used to determine insurance rates for property owners. Phillip Suarez suggested it would benefit the committee to know what the fire district's ISO rating would be before presenting the plan to council and trustees.

    The lower the number the better for ISO ratings, and currently, the city's ISO rating is 5, while the township's is 6. Oesch said the Cardinal Fire District's ISO rating is 4.

    HOPEFULLY WHAT THEY WILL REALIZE WHEN THEY TOUR THESE OTHER FIRE DISTRICTS THAT DO NOT HAVE PERSONAL AT THE STATION IS THAT THEY HAVE ALL THE "TOYS" AND SAY THAT THEY HAVE GREAT RESPONSE TIMES, BUT WHAT THEY DON'T SAY IS THAT THEY BASE THE TIMES ON THE PD BEING FIRST ON SCENE, ONE PERSON BEING ON SCENE OR An ENGINE WITH PERSONAL WITH NO EXPERIENCE, ITS GREAT TO SAY THAT YOUR ON SCENE 83 PERCENT ON THE TIME WITHIN SIX MINUTES, BUT IT IS NO GOOD IF IF ITS ONLY ONE PERSON OR THREE WITH NO EXPERIENCE, AND WHAT THEY LEAVE OUT IS WHAT THE H--- HAPPENS TO THE PERSON WHO NEEDS HELP THE OTHER 17 PERCENT OF THE TIME THAT THE DEPARTMENT TAKES LONGER THAN SIX MINUTES.
    Last edited by searching247; 03-10-2005 at 11:13 PM.


  2. #22
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile The View From Here...............

    FIRST, Thank you to all who have posted, and, in doing so, kept this from evolving into a "One group bashing the other" type of situation. That we can discuss, without bashing, speaks highly of those who post here. Are there areas where Volunteers can replace Career Firefighters? Yes, I think there are. Would I recommend such a move? Absolutely not. I think the main point here, is to understand that the public at large is always interested in money, but rarely interested in apparatus staffing issues, until the Fire is at their house. We, Too, should be very interested in Cost Effective Service Delivery. There are several ways to have a Cost Efficient Fire/Rescue/EMS Operation. One thing to do is work at getting everyone on board with the idea of taking on as much work as you can do with your organization. If you don't do EMS, Start. Who does your community call for a tree blocking the street in a storm? Take on that role as well. Do you pump out flooded basements? Why not? Take on the responsibility of being the "One stop shopping" Organization. Make your current operation into the "Emergency Services Department" for your jurisdiction, and sell, sell, sell. No Community can do this with 2 people on an Engine, but, those who are proactive like this tend to have 5 and 6 on each piece. There is no reason that a FD that has poor career staffing should continue with it. Get Volunteers. A Combination Department tends to have the best of both worlds, Better conditions for Career members, and Volunteers to ensure staffing levels that others dream about. If your Department isn't already the best that it can be, Do something. Now. Let me leave you with this:

    Town 1. Storm rolls thru, wind blows a tree down blocking the street, FD responds right away, with 2 Career and 3 Vol. FFs, tree is cleared to restore traffic quickly. A few minutes later a house Fire is reported, and away they go, 5 on the piece.

    Town 2. Same Scenario, FD Dispatcher tells caller "We don't do trees"
    2 Career FFs continue to sit in station. House Fire comes in, off they go, 2 on the Engine.

    Note that both Towns have 2 Career FFs at the station, both have the same salaries, benefits, costs, etc. In essence, both have similar budgets. Town 2 just paid overtime for Street Department crews to go do the tree thing. Town 2's citizens are griping that the street was blocked for 2 hours. The resident who had the Fire is mad because 2 guys showed up and stood outside, waiting for 2 more to show up for a backup. I think you see where I'm going with this.

    I'll tell you real quick, I'd live in Town 1. Crime, Schools, etc, I could care less, Just as long as when I call 911, the problem gets fixed quickly.
    Last edited by hwoods; 03-11-2005 at 07:23 PM.
    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

  3. #23
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Also career is better all around , volunteer people do not have the training at all times
    Am I missing something or did he just diss himself????

    Never heard of a department going from career to volunteer....Most of times it is usually the other way..
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  4. #24
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    taking all bets.....how many replies does this thread get....closest bet gets ummm.....my dirty sock and some dog food (a dead horse ground up into little pieces)

  5. #25
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    Perhaps one of the PG County, Maryland boys or girls could help out on my point. It is on a smaller scale, but hasn't PG 'removed' the paid personnel from stations before? I could be wrong, but I believe I heard it trumpeted about before.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

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  6. #26
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Kobersteen
    Perhaps one of the PG County, Maryland boys or girls could help out on my point. It is on a smaller scale, but hasn't PG 'removed' the paid personnel from stations before? I could be wrong, but I believe I heard it trumpeted about before.
    that would be correct. I believe Kentland used to have paid personnel, but now they are 100% volunteer (and very proud of it). and technically, they didn't go from paid to volunteer, PGFD just reassigned the personnel to a different station to increase effectiveness.

    but I don't think that is the situation that is being discussed. I believe he meant a 100% paid department that became 100% volunteer. I don't think it has ever been done.
    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!

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  7. #27
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    Originally posted by DrParasite
    that would be correct. I believe Kentland used to have paid personnel, but now they are 100% volunteer (and very proud of it). and technically, they didn't go from paid to volunteer, PGFD just reassigned the personnel to a different station to increase effectiveness.

    but I don't think that is the situation that is being discussed. I believe he meant a 100% paid department that became 100% volunteer. I don't think it has ever been done.
    I agree, there is another PG station that went from vol. to combination and now back to volunteer.. sorry I can't remember which one, but I know I'm not talking about 33. I'll try and find out which on it was... or maybe hwoods can inform us all.

  8. #28
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    Default thank you

    thanks to all of you who replied. as i stated previously, i am conducting research in order write a paper. i am not on either side, i am simply attempting to tackle a controverted issue in a well-informed, educated manner. regardless of your career or volunteer status, i would like to thank all of you for your bravery, professionalism and continued sacrifices. good luck and God bless...

  9. #29
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Probably about one in eight posts will have something usefull to say, that may help and stay on topic. Didn't seem to me that he was looking for a volunteer vs. career argument, cost a cost/benefit comparison. Certainly a very fair question.

    Don't let the nit-wits who can't can't past the question distrct you from the posts that have something constructive to say.
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  10. #30
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    Firepimp, my involvement as a volly is anything but a hobby, as for my level of training, I will stack my credentials against any career department. Don't get me wrong I have the utmost of respect for any career fire fighter as well as any volly out there. What I don't respect is a department that does not put training their members on the top of their priority list. Its a lack of training that kills good people.
    As for transitions from one to the other we recently went from a volly to a composite department, took on 14 firemedics that man the ambulances and are fully trained firefighters. I would be lieing if I said it was smooth sailing, we have had a few glitches but when you have everyone involved in the decision process that is for the good of the department, it will work. We have encouraged members that if they have a problem to come forward and get it out in the open, with no hidden agendas, things get ironed out before the become a crisis.It may sound simplistic, but if everyone respects each others opinion,we find that we each have the democratic right to be wrong, and not be punished for it.

  11. #31
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Someone Call My Name?.................

    Ahhh... Prince Georges County. Yes, Prince Georges has some Volunteer Departments that once had Career members assigned, but lost them. Nobody threw anyone out. In each case where the career Crew was moved, it was at the direction of Management, when they needed to get the best utilization out of the amount of people available at the time. There are/were places where Station locations allowed this, because response times wouldn't be greatly affected, if one station didn't respond due to a lack of crew. At one point, Every Station in P.G. had at least 2 Career people on Daywork, with some stations having as many as 6. Some had Shift work as well. Today, there are Stations that have no Career people at all: Kentland (33) Ritchie (37) Bladensburg (9) Branchville (11) Additionally, Cottage City (2), Mt. Ranier (3), Brentwood (4) have combined in one station, Co 55, Bunker Hill. Co 2 and 4 had lost their Career crews as well, but Co 3's crew remain. There are still quite a few stations with "Daywork" crews, where Volunteers handle nights and weekends. Volunteers also fill 5 of 7 Battalion Chiefs slots as well on nights and weekends.
    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

  12. #32
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    Yes.. Bladensburg.. that's it!
    In April of 2004 the members of Bladensburg decided to make an offer to the county to have the career personnel removed. This was a cooperative effort between both PGFD and our leadeship, in order to help the county eleviate some of the staffing/overtime (budget) issues. Since November 1st the company has been 100% Volunteer, relying solely on the Volunteer members of Company 9. It has proven to be even more of a help than anticipated, with members staffing 2 and sometimes 3 crews, with an ambulance in service, therefore out doing our original expectations.
    http://www.bv9fd.com/

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