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  1. #1
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    Default has a career dept ever gone back to volunteer?

    The political storm is brewing here at Local 869 in Leadville, Colorado.

    Leadville Lake County Fire Rescue has had a paid dept since the 1880s and became union about 1946.

    Current staffing for 400 (yes 400) square miles is 9 on the line and one non union chief.

    Current apparatus
    2002 Sutphen Rescue pumper
    1992 Autocar Tender/Pumper (POS)
    1980s Eone 55' Squirt (failed pump and ladder certs OOS)
    2004 F550 Wildland Brush
    1993 Chevy 3500 Brush
    1970 6x6 1000gal CAFS tender/brush (POS)

    The department is funded 70% by the county and 30% by the city. The city manages the department as Colorado until VERY recently has not allowed counties to run fire deparments.

    There is only one incorporated area in the county, the city of Leadville.

    City population 3500
    County population 5000 spread over 380 sq miles or so

    City does have a 14 block downtown area with house less than 5 feet apart and multistory/multi-use buildings "downtown".

    The county has announced that they want to take over the management of the Fire Department.

    They are complaining about:
    1) Lack of Volunteers (3) 1 OOS due to injury

    2) Unhappy with management

    3) Rapidly rising costs (budget of 630k)

    The union, the fire chief and the city mayor have been left out of any discussions. The union is completely behind the chief.

    The County government has indicated it wants to return to at most 2 paid on the engine, remove certification requirements for volunteers, and not have a paid chief (aka they want to micro manage)

    The mayor and the chief (basically our bosses) have told us that it doesn't look to rosey. Get your life perserver and prepare to jump ship.

    http://www.leadvilleherald.com/topst...ories.html#FP2

    I guess just a little bit of venting going on and curious, have you ever heard of a department returning to volunteer?


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Time to form a fire district
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess just a little bit of venting going on and curious, have you ever heard of a department returning to volunteer?
    Sounds like a sh@tty situation you are in, and No.
    "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?

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    They are complaining of a lack of volunteers, yet want to go to a volunteer department? Where do they think the volunteers are going to come from?

    Reduce the level of training and certification? Okay... let's just teach the newbies to lob water through a window.. look at the money we'll save on turnout grear and SCBA!

    Worrying about the budget? We won't need one if the first two things come true!

    Idiocy and micromanagement at it's best...
    ‎"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

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Farmun's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know this firsthand but didn't Kentland VFD in Maryland (http//www.kentland33.com) go back to an all volunteer setup? Their website says they are the second busiest engine co. in the US and they are all volunteer.

    Come to think of it that must be why the departments in Pennsylvania are having such a hard time getting volunteers...they all moved to Kentland!

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    There is a department close to here that is getting mighty close to this .......they have a failing town infrastructure, poor local economy and have suffered FF layoffs. They are down to rediculously low minimal manning. The only thing that saves them, they dont have alot of fires.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Farmun
    I don't know this firsthand but didn't Kentland VFD in Maryland (http//www.kentland33.com) go back to an all volunteer setup?
    Apples and oranges. Kentland 33 is one station in the PG combination department. They had their paid staff moved to a different station, hence they are now 100% volunteer.

    This situation in Leadville is different and as Bones said is real sh***y. KTF Brothers.

    Weruj, PM as to what dept. you're speaking of...
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber Firedan38's Avatar
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    Default

    didnt that happen to BelPre down on the Ohio river a few years ago?
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

  9. #9
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    this is happening in Salem Ohio right now. City council is trying to do away with their paid department to for a Fire District with a volunteer station. Salem firefighters have been without a contract since June 30th and council will not really even listen to their offers. They have offered wage freezes for the next three years and cutting down to 4 guys per shift. City council has declared a fiscal emergency to disband their fire dept. City council also threw out 2 voter referendums that said the residents can not vote on it. It’s unreal the way council is getting away with what they are.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  10. #10
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    Default

    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FCDave24
    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave
    Dave.. how true. Amazing how there are some volunteers who post on the forums saying we don't get any respect from career guys, we want to be treated like brothers, yet they feel its all right to pull this crap.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-23-2005 at 10:17 AM.
    ‎"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

  12. #12
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    aint that the truth..............
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  13. #13
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Default

    To be fair, I've got to say that when we laid off guys and didn't fill some slots opened by retirement (9 positions out of 49 authorized), my city's Council openly commented that they would just use the volunteers where they need to. To our local volunteer Chiefs' credit, they to a person told Council that their failure to adequately staff our department wasn't going to become their problem to cover, as they were having problems covering their own calls. They would assist with the occassional shortage, but they weren't going to routinely run our calls for us.

    It didn't do any good, as we were told to just call the private ambulance services to cover our EMS calls, and the politicians/bean counters pretty well knew the other departments were never going to leave us or the community hanging if we really needed them.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber tyler101's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by Steamer
    To be fair, I've got to say that when we laid off guys and didn't fill some slots opened by retirement (9 positions out of 49 authorized), my city's Council openly commented that they would just use the volunteers where they need to. To our local volunteer Chiefs' credit, they to a person told Council that their failure to adequately staff our department wasn't going to become their problem to cover, as they were having problems covering their own calls. They would assist with the occassional shortage, but they weren't going to routinely run our calls for us.

    It didn't do any good, as we were told to just call the private ambulance services to cover our EMS calls, and the politicians/bean counters pretty well knew the other departments were never going to leave us or the community hanging if we really needed them.
    Same thing is happening here, the city runs low on manpower and has to rely on county volunteer department's to come into the city to respond. When we cut 4 paid FF jobs all the part-paid vollies on the cities department had to be ****-canned as well. That cut another 20-25 FF's. We have one private ambulance in town and they can only do non-emergency transports due to city ordinance of requireing 2 medics on any ALS run. So far the city hasn't been burned to bad; but it will soon I fear. Good news is that they just brought back one FF from lay-off status.

  15. #15
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tyler101
    Good news is that they just brought back one FF from lay-off status.
    We've brought 2 back. Our Mayor is really trying to get our billets filled, and actually wants to add another firehouse to cover and underserved area in the north end of the city. We've grown something like more than a thousand acres and developing quickly. They're going to have to do something about it eventually.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  16. #16
    Forum Member JackTee09's Avatar
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    Shi* - And I use to bitch about a payraise. Damn.
    Jacktee

    IACOJ

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  17. #17
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FCDave24
    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave
    The private ambulance company I work for use Salem’s first responders all the time. As far as the volunteers Perry Township is no tall that happy with this situation. I am on one of the volunteer fire departments outside of East Liverpool. Again that is all city council’s agenda. I can not answer for Liverpool township which is on both sides of the City of East Liverpool. When council brought up about getting a mutual aid agreement made up. Our department told our trustee’s (we are a private vol. fire dept). The only way we would ever go into the city was if the East Liverpool Fire Department wanted us. And not why one guy was laid off. We where not going to let council lay off guys know they would have us roll in to cover it. So for East Liverpool is concerned they may have one department say that but that would be it. I have to through the BS flag on that. We have no desire to run in the city if we are not invited.
    Salem runs well with the volunteers in their area. That has never been a problem. City council and the water department said that no one other than the city could use water. Salem firefighter’s with all the BS that is going on said to call them they would come hook the hydrant up. They are a stand up bunch. And I have all the respect in the world for them. I know two made comments that they could do better in the city of Salem how ever not the department the is involved in the joint fire district. Perry township is township owned and the township trustee’s are going along with the fire district to avoid annexation of a lot of their township. It is a shame. I hope that some how this gets put to and end quick. If this the district goes through I bet East Liverpool will do the same. How ever East Liverpool has a whole different attitude. They are a paid department that SOME guys have a we are better than NYFD type mind set. The new mayor went after the police department as well how ever they where able to stop that.
    The thing that East Liverpool has to their advantage is they have a fire levy where as Salem does not they are run out of the general fund. Tonight is going to be the meeting that Salem city council does the vote on the fire department. Council has over turned twice the wright for the residents of Salem to vote on whether they keep the fire department or form a fire district. Please do not blame all the volunteer fire departments in this area for trying to make this happen it’s not what we want at all. I will keep you all up to date as to what happens in the next few days.
    For the record my fire department has NEVER offered are service to the city. The ELFD knows if they call we will come but that is the only way. Council can try what they want but we are not and will not go with out the ELFD saying come. They gave us our first fire hose way back in 1947 and that has not been forgoten. many of us are good friend with most of them. But as always there are 2 or 3 that may tell you how bad volunteers suck that happens anywhere thought.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  18. #18
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Here are a few news updates to what is going on in Salem Ohio. The township trustee’s and city council have no guts. They will not let anyone from the public speak at these meetings. I was shocked to be there at the Salem meeting and plan on going tonight to the Perry township meeting. All the voters wanted was a say. Where is the democracy in this world. Truly sad day for the voters of these areas.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...ew01quaker.asp

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new01perry.asp

    This one was kind of BS. I went through emt class with Shane he is very proud of his dad. As well as the community. the council started something they will not be able to finish as they are up for relection in November. The towns people are fighting for there FD.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new02words.asp
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  19. #19
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    Lightbulb

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo


    Dave.. how true. Amazing how there are some volunteers who post on the forums saying we don't get any respect from career guys, we want to be treated like brothers, yet they feel its all right to pull this crap.
    Dude seriously, your taking a statement totally out of context and probably don't have the full story. It isn't about being right to pull crap, it would be more like, who is really gonna do it if the city management decides that they are gonna go vollie. That is nothing that the volunteers can do about it except step up till the situation is fixed. Most people think because the city managers won’t pay a full time station that it is the vollies at fault because they volunteer to cover the area. Sounds to me like a city issue. What is the alternative? No fire or EMS protection? Force the city to reinstate the paid guys? How many people will that impact? Too many things that we don't know, so let us not pass judgment before the facts are clear.
    Now, if the statement is true, you’re right, totally wrong. Vollies can do the job, but better? Not all the time cause they have other jobs outside of the fire service.

    Lt Chuck

  20. #20
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Just an update as to what is going on in Salem Ohio. City council and Perry Township trustees agreed to make the joint fire district. The Perry Township firefighters still have not been asked if they want to join the district or not. At neither meetings was there a public speaking session aloud. There where signs held up at Perry Township that said “Yes vote today Means a no vote for you in November”.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new02mayor.asp

    http://www.morningjournalnews.com/ne...ew01news02.asp

    http://www.reviewonline.com/news/sto...judgestops.asp
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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