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  1. #1
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    Default Concern I have about a local Fire Department

    Hi

    I got a little I guess beef with local Fire Department(Southgate,Michigan) In 2000 the department bought a New Aerial from E-One, a 95Ft Platform aerial ladder that only goes out on Commerical fire alarms and apartments runs, and I feel it's a waste of taxpayer money in that city, when they hardly use it. Everytime friends take me for a ride by that station, other units can be gone, and the Aerial is just sitting there, I may not understand since I can't work in the fire service or work at all there procedures, but it seems to me like a waste of taxpayer money just to have that big truck sit there and not do anything.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber pvfire424's Avatar
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    Default

    To be quite honest, the best folks to ask will be the local firefighters there. There may be specific guidlines regulating the use of any specific apparatus.

    I doubt anyone on this forum will be able to give you specific reasons to why one piece is or is not used.

  3. #3
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    Default Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Hi

    Thanks for replying, I did email the local department, and received no reply, but I guess I could visit there sometime, and maybe find out for sure why. Every other truck gets used alot, except the most expensive one(which is the Aerial)

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    There are two types of demand for fire service - realized and latent. The realized demand is the amount of time/manpower/money spent fighting fires and performing other emergency functions.

    I assume your fire department isn't busy putting out fires 100% of the time. Since there are still structures in your jurisdiction that need protection, the fire department (and all its equipment) is still there "just in case." That's latent demand.

    Just because they don't use it on every call doesn't mean it's not needed. There are lots of other variables, though. How close is the next available aerial? If there are 10 departments within 5 miles with aerials, yours might be a waste of money.

    A typical structure fire response is at least 13 firefighters on two engines and a truck (though this can vary depending on how urban or rural your area is and the nature of the hazards involved). Does your department have enough manpower to run the aerial on the first alarm? Perhaps you have a case of not enough money being spent instead of too much.

    There is much more involved (and at stake) than I could possibly touch on in one post. This may not answer your question entirely, but it should give you a starting point for asking questions.
    ullrichk
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  5. #5
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    Default Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Well that department from the open house said before--that they had always 8 firefighters on a shift, The pumper and Aerial are first response units. Next city over has an Aerial, and then that city has a new Platform truck, city east of them has a new platform, and city on the west side also.

    Response for first alarm in that city goes like this

    Main Pumper: Pierce Quantum
    Aerial: (Commerical buildings or Apartments or Condo's only) otherwise it's second pumper as second out.
    Rescue: only goes on Medical runs(EMS)

    6 more is usually called in if there on an extended incident to cover the station and second pumper or whatever's left there. Department is first response only on EMS, no transports


    Ranging from 75foot platform, to 100 foot platforms


    I guess the city knows what there doing
    Last edited by bikeman25; 04-15-2005 at 04:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Million dollar rigs last longer when they are not chasing every false alarm are cat in the tree.
    What's a better use of tax dollars- using the rig for only confirmed events, or at the request of mutual aid companies, greatly extending the service life?
    Or chasing it out on every run, racking up the miles, increasing the wear and tear and then going to the citizens for another million doller rig 10 years later?
    Fire apparatus are like tools, many good mechanics have a $400 torque wrench, does that mean it gets used everyday, no. But when it does, it is usually for a critical item which needs to be done right the first time, or the it comes back, costing twice as much to fix.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  7. #7
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    All I can say is this...

    If you're a taxpayer, then you certainly have the right to ask questions. If you want to ask effective questions and get answers of value, then go in with an open mind and treat this as an educational or informational experience. If you make it a confrontation, doors will probably be slammed on you. That's just human nature.

    Since I know nothing else of the situation, that's all I can offer.

  8. #8
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    Default Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Well I don't pay taxes anymore in that city(moved) but still was trying to find a little bit of answers,but I think I understand more now. As for this Downriver Area--this city Called Brownstown Michigan--sends there Aerial on every run, as a command truck...if I listen on my digital PD scanner, I can hear everything, Truck 1861's arrived, establishing command.

  9. #9
    Forum Member allineedisu's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Seems to me that you have an axe to grind!!!

    Were you ever a member of this department? If so did your membership get terminated? I don't see, now that you have moved and don't pay taxes in this burg, that you have any thing to say about how this department buys, operates or runs any of their apparatus!

    Since you donít live there any longer, I can see why the department hasnít returned your calls.

    Sounds like to me that your are a stirrer!





  10. #10
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    Default Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Hi

    I never was a member of that department, I cant' work at all, just was a citizen of that community is all, and a concerned one, but I understand more of the reasons why they may not use it that much
    Last edited by bikeman25; 04-15-2005 at 05:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    One of my former departments is a combo career/volunteer outfit covering approximately 8,000 people in first-due fire area, and another 3,500 in EMS/ALS area. 13 career members on three rotating shifts, and about 25 volunteers to supplement career staff and man the station when career staff is out. Three ALS ambulances, two pumpers, two tankers, heavy rescue, grass rig, chief's car, and one great big beautiful 1987 quint with a 110' aerial platform.

    I'll tell you, we only rolled Ladder 640 about three times a year, but it was priceless each time. Also, numerous buildings in the district are over six stories tall. Sometimes it is not how much or how often you use it, but how bad you need it when you need it.

    I say it is fine to question it, and good that you are asking for advice, but I feel reasonably safe assuring you that those firefighters would probably be making moves to dump the aerial and get more bodies or better PPE if they didn't need the stick. I don't know of many FDs trying to waste money on ladder trucks when most can't get enough to meet the basic mission.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Question

    Well as a tax payer you can inquire.
    As a person, it does sound like you are being overly critical.
    Maybe the department is understaffed or underbudgeted, with layoffs?
    Back when I first got on our department, the aerial NEVER left unless it was a MAJOR fire........now it is second due on all structure fires since a chief change almost 10 years ago.
    I dont get what your beef really is ...........
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  13. #13
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Default

    In the area I used to live in, we had the opposite problem. The FD had a a mammoth aerial truck that would respond to EVERYTHING regardless of the type of call (it was the second truck out the door).

    The issue here was the size of the sucker blocking access for all the other services trying to get to the same scene or again, just a major overkill. (Do we need an aerial for a bin fire? )
    Here's a picture of the beast!

    The rumour had it that they needed to get the runs up to justify keeping the truck...
    Luke

  14. #14
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    You have a beef w/ them because they don't want to run the hell out of a truck?



    Sounds to me like your a firefighter that isn't allowed to ride on the new fire truck, and your just trying to make them look bad so you will feel better.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Originally posted by blueeighty88
    You have a beef w/ them because they don't want to run the hell out of a truck?



    Sounds to me like your a firefighter that isn't allowed to ride on the new fire truck, and your just trying to make them look bad so you will feel better.
    No need to be so rude....the guy was only asking a question (and I think a legitimate one). The public doesn't always understand how we operate ("Why are you cutting a hole in the roof? Why did a fire truck show up when I called for an ambulance? Why did 4 fire trucks show up for a little kitchen fire? You guys don't really do anything, you get paid to sleep all the time..." that kind of stuff). I think taxpayers are going to be a little curious as to why the big, expensive truck never seems to go on a call.

    As a chief, I understand that there are many items of equipment that we carry that get used very seldom, but we still have to have it...either for those rare "just in case" incidents, or more commonly, for ISO rating. In my district, for example, we are just one 3 story building away from needing a ladder truck, per PIAL (Property Insurance Association of Louisiana). I can probably count on one hand how many times in my 16 years we might have needed a ladder truck. If we get a couple more 3-story buildings in our district, the ratings folks will say we need a ladder truck. So there are two possible questions from the public....

    Q: Why do you have that big ladder truck and never use it?
    A: We need it to maintain our rating.

    Or...

    Q: Why are my homeowner's insurance rates so high, and what are you going to do about it?
    A: We would need to purchase a ladder truck.

    So either way we have to be able to defend our decisions....either spend the money for an expensive rig that's seldom needed, or take the ratings hit for not having the aerial. It's a question of what that district can afford...if they can afford the aerial, more power to 'em.

    only goes out on Commerical fire alarms and apartments runs, and I feel it's a waste of taxpayer money in that city, when they hardly use it.
    Sounds like a wise use of a resource. Seems like some pre-planning has been done and certain target hazards have been identified...If the incident may require an aerial (apartment complex, commercial building), roll it. If not, why rack up miles on a costly unit when you know it won't be needed?
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 04-27-2005 at 08:57 PM.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream ó and I hope you don't find this too crazy ó is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    ó C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  16. #16
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    dmleblanc, You are very correct in your posting. I would agree on what you said.

    I know the public doesn't really know anything about the fire department operations. They always complain about the response times, what you bring to the scene or what you didn't bring. I can't tell you all the times that I have heard "What took you so long" "I called 30 minutes ago!" "If we still have the volunteer department, they would have been here when I called and saved the shed". It never stops. The best one I can remember was an auto fire on the expressway. The owner called it in giving the wrong expressway on the first call. The second call that he made the direction of travel was incorrect, as well as the correct location. We finally got there and of course the auto was totaled. He did threaten to sue us, the department and the city for a slow response. The call center radio tape saved us.

    We will take the time to explain the basic operation to any citizen. We explain why we have this or that. We also will explain why we need this or that and that they can help us by contacting their supervisor or council person and labor for us.

    The fire service usually is the first agency that the budget axe gets near. We are always fighting the propose cuts or having to justify why we have these stations and why they are so located there.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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  17. #17
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    I wasn't directing my post in a rude manner, you just read it that way. I was expressing my opinion, and my opinion was that it sounded like he is a ****ed off member of that department. Our people do that. They don't get something done "their way", they get the newspapers involved! Write some bogus claim to the papers that we are "misusing tax money", use a fake name that sounds like their real name. The guy screams out at the meetings "What happened to the tax money", someone took it, who? We tell him we don't get tax money, the schools and funds to repair all the flood damage get taxes; he should know that, he sat here when we agreed to give it up. But nope, that wasn't what he wanted to hear, so he has to write a letter to someone so he can feel better about it. Can you say blackball?
    Last edited by blueeighty88; 04-28-2005 at 03:27 PM.

  18. #18
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    Angry

    if you are that worried check with the department, also there could be many mutual aid agreements involving the truck. it also could be used at any confirmed fire and multiple random situations. if your house was burning and you needed the use of a truck it would be better to have it than to not. Make sure it was paid for with tax money it very well could have been a grant.

  19. #19
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    Default Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Well I was just concerned but my concerns are not there anymore, I know if they have a confirmed fire or need it it's there, as for my new city where I moved too since starting this Post..all volunteers here, and if i could work, I'd join probably in a second. but since I can't work, I just stay on the civilian side and watch what they do.

    The old city was paying on that truck with a loan until 2010. that's all I was able to find out from the old city..but really not that much of a concern now.


    At least we got BLS Ambulance transports in this new city..

    Should I feel as safe as I did with full time fire department with a volunteer department protecting this area I live in now, don't know much about new cities department at all. but I am learning a little.


    Thank you all very much for the replies
    Last edited by bikeman25; 05-21-2005 at 12:53 PM.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concern I have with Local Fire Department

    Originally posted by bikeman25
    Should I feel as safe as I did with full time fire department with a volunteer department protecting this area I live in now,

    Hoo, boy, this should get interesting......
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream ó and I hope you don't find this too crazy ó is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    ó C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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