Thanks for increasing the chance that my wife and children will get a visit from my Chief and a Chaplain.

Hey, elected official!

I know the economy is in the dumps, the teabag revolution is morphing, and it is politically rewarding to slash the budgets across the board, no matter the true cost.

Quick question for ‘ya:† What will it take to find a way to bring costs down without killing us, your so-called heroes?

Let’s review what you’ve accomplished for us so far:

In order to save money, you have cut mandated the closure of one of our stations, meaning that I now arrive a little later then I used to, and my help may be a little farther out than it used to be.† The fire has a head start, the dangers of a catastrophic fire event occurring while I’m inside has increased with the delay.† And when I need help in getting out, or help in getting one of your constituents out, my assistance will be running just a tad later than usual.

Thanks for increasing the chance that my wife and children will get a visit from my Chief and a Chaplain.

In order to save money, you have taken one person away from my crew, depleting my immediate manpower needs by 25-50%.† I have to do the job of 1 1/2 people just as quickly as before.† What are the chances I will have to take shortcuts or make a mistake in order to perform outside my abilities due to your cuts?† I am now less protected, and we are all less effective on the fireground.

Thanks for increasing the chance that my wife and children will get a visit from my Chief and a Chaplain.

In order to save money, you have postponed the replacement of my 13-year old apparatus, youíve refused to replace retiring personnel, and youíve frozen funds for training.

Thanks for increasing the chance that my wife and children will get a visit from my Chief and a Chaplain.

You’re a politician, but I am a firefighter. I fight fires, I protect property and I save lives. I am asked to do more and more with less and less. And Iím just barely hanging in there as you continue to cut and slash.

It sucks.

Iím doing all I can in my power to make sure my Chief and a chaplain donít knock at my door. All I want is to fight fires, protect property, save lives and go home to my wife and kids after my shift has ended.

God help you if I donít, because my wife and kids will come knocking at yours.

7 Comments

  • Nicely done Jeremy -

    We can only hope that the cost-cutters have a HAPPY Thanksgiving despite the fact that they probably don't even realize they have folks like us to be thankful for – people who do the stuff they don't want to.

    Stay safe. Train often.

  • Ckemtp says:

    I'm going to ask it again…

    So what's the solution other than saying “Don't cut our budget!!” and calling them names?

    Sure, I agree with you that staffing cuts hurt. I know the reasons why they hurt. I also know that tax revenues are way down and the cuts have to come from somewhere.

    I'm again playing the Devil's Advocate here, but the question must be answered. What's your other option?

  • chiefreason says:

    You know; we offer very emotional and very articulate arguments for keeping the money in the public safety budget, but at the end of the day, the city would rather keep garbage pick up the same than to keep public safety the same.
    The reason? Siimple. When garbage doesn't get picked up, phone calls to the city light up the switchboard and they don't want that.
    But, when you reduce manpower on the fire department, the only one who notices are the firefighters. Citizens have no clue, because when they call us, it always seems to them that it took a long time anyway. AND, they cannot measure the severity of a fire. All they know is that some of their stuff burnt up, “but no one got hurt”. Thank God.

  • Fire Daily says:

    Hi Chris, you are right. While I can't offer one answer applicable across the board to every department in need, I do know that there have been several instances in which money so desperately needed by public safety is heaped upon lawyers and settlements from lawsuit brought against the municipality. There are huge and costly sums of money that the taxpayers are losing due to improper/unethical/short-sighted decisions made during the budgetary process.
    On such village near me has spent millions of dollars fighting the Canadian National Railroad from utilizing tracks in their municipality.to run freight trains around Chicago rather than through it. It was a three year legal battle theat was destined to defeat early on, yet piles of money continue to fight that losing battle to this day. The Village President has her sights set on higher aspirations, whilst her name is out there as fighting for her citizens. Now, whilst the train engines roll through, she's just announced layoffs to two more police officers, adding to the dozens of municipal employees lost during the fight with the railroad.

    That's where we need to get off the couch and get active. If the residents knew where their hard-earned tax money was going and were made more aware of where it oughtta be going, then we'd at least be proactive in protecting that which belongs to us, and in turn protecting the lives of our brothers and sisters.

    We need to accept the status quo less, and start directing our own destiny by becoming the squeaky wheel.

  • firelt8c says:

    Sad but true!

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Rob
Packing heat with our halligan and a Glock by our gloves?
I was a volunteer for almost twenty years. When our members were police officers, they could carry on duty, concealed. I remember one night when I was the operator (driver) and responding to a house fire, three of the four firefighters on the truck were PD. I was handed three sidearms to take care of!…
2014-01-27 22:54:00
bhill
Packing heat with our halligan and a Glock by our gloves?
"lockbox on the truck" Does he carry his weapon in a lock box while on duty as a Deputy? I'm thinkin' not. Am I willing to use deadly force, and then turn around and try to save their life after I shoot them? Ain't happening. "individuals with police/weapons training" - the training teaches shoot to…
2014-01-27 19:33:00
Ken Nelson
Packing heat with our halligan and a Glock by our gloves?
I believe individuals with police/weapons training should carry fire arms. In our station's situation, our assistant chief is also a sheriff's deputy. I have suggested that he have his firearm with him in a lockbox on the truck in case a need arises. In addition some personnel are current military (Reserve, National Guard) who could…
2014-01-27 18:20:00
Marianna Randazzo
We Should Be Hearing All About Mike Behette Today, Rather Than Knowing So Much About the Navy Yard Shooter.
Thank you for this wonderful tribute to my dear friend Mike. I am in the process of writing a biography/anthology of Michael's life. I would be very grateful for your input. Please contact me on FB, Marianna Randazzo or Given Away, A SIiclian Upbringing. Respectfully yours, Marianna
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Fire Daily
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Yes, Becky, I saw that too. As I was told by an ER doc many moons ago, "a patient without an airway is a dead patient." Not all firefighters are EMT's, and some may not have basic first aid skills- instead relying on a concurrent response from an emergency EMS agency. Not sure in this…
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