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    Default Why are County fire departments so prevalent in the west but not so much in the east?

    Out here in CA, county fire departments commonly serve small cities and towns, providing those municipalities with top-notch fire protection. However, in other areas of the country (I'm thinking of Massachusetts in particular, but only because I grew up there and keep up on the news from there) each tiny town has its own fire department, and these small departments are usually plagued by budget shortfalls and understaffing.

    For example, I know that many towns have ladder trucks that are staffed by only 1 firefighter. Other places have fire stations containing an ambulance and an engine, and the 2 firefighters staffed at the station have decide which one to take to a call.

    Would it not be beneficial for these cities and towns to consider pooling their resources and money and creating county fire departments? I'm sure there are many stumbling blocks, but I'm curious if this has ever been tried or discussed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLam77 View Post
    Would it not be beneficial for these cities and towns to consider pooling their resources and money and creating county fire departments? I'm sure there are many stumbling blocks, but I'm curious if this has ever been tried or discussed?
    Yes it probably would but, their is one major problem......POLITICS. You also have pay scale issues and big fish in little pond syndrome but getting one city to agree with another can be like pulling teeth. Especially when you have poor and wealthy cities together. One doesn't want to pay for the other.
    And to answer the title of your post, we actually have a county FD for pretty much if not all counties here in Florida.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    You have obviously never been to the Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    You have obviously never been to the Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia area.
    Sorry, I meant to write "New England". I'm aware of the County FD's in other areas too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLam77 View Post
    Sorry, I meant to write "New England". I'm aware of the County FD's in other areas too.
    Gotcha!

    No problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLam77 View Post
    Out here in CA, county fire departments commonly serve small cities and towns, providing those municipalities with top-notch fire protection. However, in other areas of the country (I'm thinking of Massachusetts in particular, but only because I grew up there and keep up on the news from there) each tiny town has its own fire department, and these small departments are usually plagued by budget shortfalls and understaffing.

    For example, I know that many towns have ladder trucks that are staffed by only 1 firefighter. Other places have fire stations containing an ambulance and an engine, and the 2 firefighters staffed at the station have decide which one to take to a call.

    Would it not be beneficial for these cities and towns to consider pooling their resources and money and creating county fire departments? I'm sure there are many stumbling blocks, but I'm curious if this has ever been tried or discussed?

    In some areas of the northeast, this just can't be done because only towns or villages are allowed to provide fire protection under state law. This goes back a couple hundred years and is called "home rule" where the founding fathers decided that those that live there could decide what's best for them. Does it always work, no but sometimes it works better and people have better protection thn they would under a county system. I know if my county ran the fire service the people in my town wouldn't have anywhere near the level of protection that they currently have.

    Larry

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    To take what Relevant said one step further, in Alabama counties have extremely limited taxation authority (except for schools, which get almost anything they want ). No revenue source, no FD. Around here, city departments are usually far better equipped than their county brethern.

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    It's just a matter of time.

    Consolidation and regionalization will eventually catch up to us as resources become slim.

    I don't think it's a bad thing, i just hope the Fire Departments have a say. Politicians have a different set of priorities than we do.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Not all places are the same. Not all states, counties, towns, etc are run the same in this county. Therefore, fire service will be run differently also. There is no right or wrong way, it's just different than yours.
    Eh?

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    There aren't any County FD's in Arizona either.
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    In Massachusetts there is little in the way of functioning county governments anymore. Some have Sheriffs and other services, while others serve only as geographical boundaries. Seems to me that it would be easier to do this with a functioning county government.

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    In my state of Pennsylvania, it has alot to do with tradition as usual. Well we have always been here. We have no county depts. in my area. I headr it once as legalized gangs with their own little turf and colors....lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike308 View Post
    In my state of Pennsylvania, it has alot to do with tradition as usual. Well we have always been here. We have no county depts. in my area. I headr it once as legalized gangs with their own little turf and colors....lol
    I agree. Here in Somerset County, there are quite a few deparments for such a small county and turf/boundary wars aren't common, but if a dispatcher makes a mistake on a call into another companies boundaries, everyone gets all butthurt. Especially Departments that scratch on almost every call, and has to get another Department called in place of.

    601 Somerset Fire Department
    602 Listie Fire Department
    603 Friedens Fire Department/QRS
    604 Stoystown Fire Department/QRS
    605 Boswell Fire Department
    606 Jennerstown Fire Department
    607 Sipesville Fire Department
    608 Acosta Fire Department
    609 Latrobe Fire Department **
    610 Ideal Fire Department
    611 Windber Fire Department
    612 Confluence Fire Department
    613 Addison Fire Department
    614 Hooversville Fire Department
    615/Station 60 Grantsville Fire Department (Garrett County, Maryland) **
    616 Scalp Level Fire Department
    617 Meyersdale Fire Department
    618 Salisbury Fire Department
    619 Conemaugh Township Fire Department
    620 Garrett Fire Department/QRS
    621 Hollsopple Fire Department
    622 New Centerville Fire Department
    623 Rockwood Fire Department
    624 Bakersville Fire Department/QRS
    625 Seven Springs Fire Department
    626 Central City Fire Department/QRS
    627 Shanksville Fire Department/QRS
    628 Berlin Fire Department
    629 New Baltimore Fire Department
    630 Wellersburg Fire Department/QRS
    631 Jerome Fire Department
    643 Ligonier Fire Department **

    ** Denotes not in Somerset County, but still dispatched through Somerset County Emergency Dispatch.
    Last edited by Hexxus; 02-01-2008 at 08:14 PM.

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    Left coast thinking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddiegrunt View Post
    Left coast thinking
    Yep, my district protects six cities and portions of three counties. Politics are still part of the equation and we work hard to keep the various city councils happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REVANANT View Post
    Does it always work, no but sometimes it works better and people have better protection thn they would under a county system. I know if my county ran the fire service the people in my town wouldn't have anywhere near the level of protection that they currently have.

    Larry
    In the rural areas of WA the counties are divided into districts. Most districts have one city in them. In ours the district protects the city and provides amb to the city and district. Pooling the money of the city and the tax base for our 400 sq miles provides excellent protection for all. The districts are run by commissioners elected out of the district so the "county" doesnt have much say about how things are run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    And to answer the title of your post, we actually have a county FD for pretty much if not all counties here in Florida.
    Not to mention County wide EMS in Lake/Sumter, Lee, Polk, and a few others.

    I just got back from my Medic clinical with Brevard County F/R.

    I am quite hard pressed to think of a county that DOESN'T have a FD or F/R
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    there are some counties through the panhandle that dont have "organized" fire protection, but are much like the cities in the NE. All volunteer, all different organizations.

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    Heh, Erie County has one more department then Somerset it looks like, we've got 32. Overkill? Probably. For a population of around 250000, half of which is served by one department, and then most of the remaining is in two or three other townships, with varying patches of people in the rest of the smaller communities.

    Will we ever end up a county wide department?

    HAHAHA! I have a better chance of becoming a superhero, super powers and all. We just don't want it up here. We have five different departments in my one township. We work well together, and there is talk of us consolidating, but that's about as far as it will ever go. IMO of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Not to mention County wide EMS in Lake/Sumter, Lee, Polk, and a few others.

    I just got back from my Medic clinical with Brevard County F/R.
    No hijack intended...
    Never knew Brevard had a County-wide FD... My ignorance. So is Brevard County F/R totally different from Cocoa Beach and Canaveral FDs then?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFxplr326 View Post
    No hijack intended...
    Never knew Brevard had a County-wide FD... My ignorance. So is Brevard County F/R totally different from Cocoa Beach and Canaveral FDs then?
    Although Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral are (were, as it may have changed) dispatched by BCFR (known as "Brevard"), they are funded by, and employees of their respective cities.
    BCFR has all even numbered stations (20s, 40s, 60s, and 80s)
    Municipal FDs are odd numbered (10s, 30s, 50s, 70s, and 90s)

    BCFR covers all unincorporated ares of Brevard County, and is contracted out for a few incorporated areas (West Melbourne, Micco, etc) and has the ONLY 911 Ambulances (Rescues) in the county, although a lawsuit may well change that. And so might Amendment 1....
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Although Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral are (were, as it may have changed) dispatched by BCFR (known as "Brevard"), they are funded by, and employees of their respective cities.
    BCFR has all even numbered stations (20s, 40s, 60s, and 80s)
    Municipal FDs are odd numbered (10s, 30s, 50s, 70s, and 90s)

    BCFR covers all unincorporated ares of Brevard County, and is contracted out for a few incorporated areas (West Melbourne, Micco, etc) and has the ONLY 911 Ambulances (Rescues) in the county, although a lawsuit may well change that. And so might Amendment 1....
    Understood... The Canaveral area has been on my "possible list" since I spent 24 hours in the Cocoa/Canaveral area back 2 years ago (Holy crap, it's been 2 years since my cruise)... In the 24 hours I was there, I seen fire crews 8 times in the area of where I was in Cocoa which was the Cocoa Beach Surf Shop/Four Point Sheraton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFxplr326 View Post
    Understood... The Canaveral area has been on my "possible list" since I spent 24 hours in the Cocoa/Canaveral area back 2 years ago (Holy crap, it's been 2 years since my cruise)... In the 24 hours I was there, I seen fire crews 8 times in the area of where I was in Cocoa which was the Cocoa Beach Surf Shop/Four Point Sheraton.
    Cocoa Beach. Cocoa is just over the 520 Causeway, and is not a nice area. I know a couple guys that work for CFD, and its just not a nice area.

    Cocoa Beach is about 15 min north of me (Satellite Beach).

    IDK if CCFD is hiring. If you are really interested in moving down to this area, hit me up. I have all kindsa info for ya.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Cocoa Beach. Cocoa is just over the 520 Causeway, and is not a nice area. I know a couple guys that work for CFD, and its just not a nice area.

    Cocoa Beach is about 15 min north of me (Satellite Beach).

    IDK if CCFD is hiring. If you are really interested in moving down to this area, hit me up. I have all kindsa info for ya.
    Alright. Thanks. I'll keep you in mind... Right now, it just depends if I decide I want to go to the Coast Guard because my "choice" after training would be Port Canaveral or Miami.
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    If you do decide to become a Puddle Pirate, and get stationed out at the Port, Cape Canaveral does have a VFD. Something to keep in mind...
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