Fire departments around the nation are cutting jobs, closing firehouses and increasingly resorting to “rolling brownouts” in which they shut different fire companies on different days as the economic downturn forces many cities and towns to make deep cuts that are slowing their responses to fires and other emergencies.
Philadelphia began rolling brownouts this month, joining cities from Baltimore to Sacramento that now shut some units every day. San Jose, Calif., laid off 49 firefighters last month. And Lawrence, Mass., north of Boston, has laid off firefighters and shut down half of its six firehouses, forcing the city to rely on help from neighboring departments each time a fire goes to a second alarm.
I bet most of them are just union members sucking at the government teat.
Thanks, Republicans! Thank you so very, very, much!
(Said in a Blackadder voice…)
Yeah, and they’ll expect Social Security later on. What a bunch of freeloaders and parasites!
By the way, the whole “Dems wanna keep Bush tax cuts for the rich” may well be just Politico bullshit: http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/08/27/unnamed-democrats-thinking-about-extending-tax-cuts-for-the-rich/
O/T: Paging Radley Balko
If we cut taxes on the wealthy then I’m sure free market solutions would present themselves. Also, too, when they allow good fire-fighting infrastructure in Mecca, then we can talk about having it here.
Who are we to decide which house stays up and which house burns down? I think this is a perfect opportunity for the free market to step in.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Every time I hear Dems bemoan the fact that Repups act irrationally about things like equitable spread of wealth, services, etc., always needs to remember that they’re not acting irrationally.
The “drowning the gubmint in the bathtub” is their mission statement. Period. Everything they do is with that end goal. Everything.
The Bushies simply started the ball rolling and were able to loot the Treasury in the process. They saw that as a fringe benefit.
This is why negotiating or trying to find common ground with these assholes is pointless. The want this country back in the 1890s.
And for much of the last 30 years, they’ve succeeded in doing that. I’d say they only have about another 30 years to go in the WayBack Machine and we’re there.
That’s when I emigrate.
Maybe teabaggers can band together and use the bitter tears they cry over the loss of their freedom to put out fires. Why, that’s the what the founding fathers would have done!
Motherfuckers aren’t going to be happy until they’re all standing upon a heaping pile of smoldering rubble. And then they’ll say, “I told you so.”
Communist flags are red.
Firetrucks are red.
Do you really want that much red in your community? In uniform? Carrying axes?
When government fails, the Invisible Hand shall provide in the form of private fire department services which will be cheaper and more efficient and because they don’t have to cover your cheapskate neighbors or pull them out of the fire, can spend more time focusing on keeping you alive.
And that’s okay, because you never really liked your neighbor anyway.
@Radon Chong: Actually, we used to have private firefighters here around the turn of the last century. If your house didn’t have a brick on the exterior that showed that you had paid the fire department, or if you had paid a competitor, they would let your house burn down.
A couple huge conflagrations put a stop to that idea fairly quickly – pesky fire didn’t tend to stay at the deadbeat’s house. But you can still find bricks stamped with the name of the fire department the person subscribed to.
Culture of Truth
Fire has a well-known liberal bias.
Taken from commenter Debbie Cook on The OIL Drum on a different by related topic:
“Before the recession hit, the Puente Hills Land Fill in Southern California was permitted to receive 14,000 tons of trash per day. They hit that limit by 1 p.m. at which time trucks would have to go elsewhere. After the recession they are receiving 8-9,000 tons per day and are open all day.”
There is less consumption now.
Which requires fewer workers and more unemployment.
i got a bad case of them from some bad flounder, a couple years back. i had also eaten some grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto that night, and haven’t been able to eat prosciutto since.
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
I remember my grandmother bringing a chicken to the firefighter to pay them.
New tag proposal: “Nothing says ‘superpower’ like…”
Really? That’s interesting. That’s right along the lines of the fire department insurance/health insurance comparisons that many have made. As in, if your house is on fire, be sure that your fire department provider is an in-network provider for your fire insurance. Otherwise, too bad you’re not covered. The fire department won’t come.
Fascinating that there’s a real-world trial and failure of the same. Did this come up during the health care debate?
comrade scott's agenda of rage
What’s this turn of the last century stuff? Live here in (un)Real ‘Murka (rurl, red Misery) and our volunteer Fire Departments work exactly like that. If you don’t pay up each year, they *will* let your house burn down.
Now, if you’re in a podunk town of 60-300 or so people and your cheap ass neighbors (which around here is most of em) refuse to pay and their house goes up, the FD will show up to douse water on yours in the hopes it won’t catch fire.
Yes, I live in a county that voted 73% for the 74 year old loon and Caribou Barbie.
I’m no huge fan of Clinton-era economics but remember when putting 100,000 more cops on the beat was a good idea.
Now we’re shuttering firehouses. (Besides the rolling ‘brownouts’ which started this summer, about seven other units in Philly have been permanently closed over the last year.)
Why is it so GD hard for these MerFer’s to spend money and hire people.
Last night, New York Firefighters had a town hall with the Republican candidate running against Anthony Weiner in Queens. The only thing they wanted to talk about was the mosque.
Firefighters in NY don’t seem concerned about their jobs, they seem more concerned about revenge on Muslims.
Knowing that the charred remains was the collective will of the market will be an enormous comfort, I would think.
@Violet: Actually, it was worse than that – they’d show up with the water wagon, but if you hadn’t paid the right fire company, they’d either leave or sit there and watch it burn.
Not that I know of (not directly anyway, but I do recall Obama saying that if an immigrant kid came down with TB and was playing on the playground with your kid, your kid’s gonna get sick too. Kinda the same principle).
Not too surprising though – this is well out of the terms of most living people’s memory. I think it was the San Francisco earthquake and conflagration in 1906 that started convincing people it was a bad idea.
Hiring cops and firefighters and others:
The Dems in congress are trying to help. They did manage to pass a bill that would help some, anyway. Remember how the House was called by from summer recess to vote on the measure?
Too little, too late? I don’t know.
“Bernanke: Fed will take action if economy falters.”
Probably to make it worse.
We don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn…
Hello my name is teabagger and I’m a dumb white guy.
Culture of Truth
If we put out fires it will only encourage more fires!
Do I have to think of everything here, people?
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Just another example of the “What’s The Matter With Kansas” principle.
A second part to the Repups “drown the gubmint in a bathtub” mission statement is “kill the middle class”. They’ve done a grand job of it in places like KS, now they’re focused on another target.
Unionized, gubmint POHlice and firefighters, not to mention public sector employees of all ilk are simply the new figurative “welfare queens”, thus, the Mighty Wurlitzer will start spinning up the message about how that final part of the middle class is actually a giant suck on our economic well being.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: Now THAT’s conservatism!
This reminds me of an old Flip Wilson comedy routine. Read “government” for “church.”
I realize that the economy of the past 25 years was sustained by several bubbles and now they’re all gone, but why isn’t it possible to simply return to some kind of fiscal equilibrium as it existed before the Reagan era? Have taxes been lowered so much that basic local services can only be provided by a housing boom? Is unemployment too high to balance local and state budgets? I don’t know whether cities cut basic services back in the 70s whenever there was a budget shortfall, but if they didn’t, why is it necessary now? Is too much money going into other departments or are revenues down too much?
peach flavored shampoo
Jenna Jameson did a porno once on a firetruck. So there’s that.
Are salaries so out of proportion that 50% of Americans can’t afford to pay taxes?
@Culture of Truth:
Exactly. In Europe and Canada, where they have sociålised fire departments, people are constantly setting their own houses on fire to take advantage of the “free” services.
You know, the fine folks at Americans for Tax Reform have taken to denying that Grover Norquist ever actually said that he wants to drown government in a bathtub. See the comments here, assuming that really is Ryan Ellis. I spoke to an activist working in Kentucky over the summer, who mentioned offhandedly that yeah, ATR is denying that they ever said it.
(I looked it up; the phrase seems to date back to a 2001 article in The Nation by Robert Dreyfuss profiling Norquist.)
@Culture of Truth: If we put out fires it will only encourage more fires!
For every fire we kill, 10 more will jump to take their place!
Where’s mclaren to tell us again that firefighters are all overpaid anyway and any idiot can use a hose, so they don’t deserve more than minimum wage?
Leftier-than-thou, my ass.
And when these idiots’ vacation houses in Big Bear go up in flames, they will sue the Forest Service and San Bernadino County for failing to protect them.
Can we feed them through a wood chipper and use what comes out the other end for compost?
I know this was intended to be snark, but sadly that is EXACTLY the response from folks on the Right.
I’m becoming increasingly distressed not only by their use of the most divisive possible rhetoric, but also by their success in doing so. It is a weakness of humans that when hit with times of uncertainty we tend to revert to the worst sort of scapegoating and tribalism. Thus, a bill to keep fire fighters, police, and teachers from being laid off becomes a bill to ‘protect government workers’, and ‘buy off the Unions’. ‘They should suffer like everyone else!’
So, middle class workers who want to keep their jobs – they’re greedy and need to be made to suffer.
The CEO who makes hundreds of times what his workers make; the Wall Street gamblers who complained about the possibility of losing their bonuses when their companies needed hundreds of billions to stay afloat – THOSE FOLKS deserve a tax cut.
And people who think that way are probably going to win in November.
Fires are God’s way of telling us to burn more poor people. Honestly, didn’t you guys get your Sarah Palin decoder rings yet? What are you, Communists?
We can afford to attack and rebuild Iraq. But we can’t afford our own fire fighters in our our own country. Yup, I’m glad most people think we have our priorities straight.
The Republicans never let a crisis go to waste.
What a terrible thing to do to a wood chipper. I’d recommend throwing them into a vat of boiling lye instead.
How can you hate freedom so much? Those people have the *RIGHT* to be at a higher risk of losing all of their possessions. If they were worried about fire, they’d build fireproof homes. This doesn’t sound like a problem, it sounds like a business opportunity.
These guys are poised to make TONS of cash in our new era of firey freedom: http://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=12313
Invisible hand! Free market! They won’t be happy until we go back to the fire-fighting model developed by the Roman Marcus Licinius Crassus.
Rush to the fire, offer to buy the property for pennies on the dollar, *then* put out the fire or… stand around and watch it burn.
This is excellent news for conservatives. It will pare down the rolls of useless firefighters and leave more money in the hands of the wealthy, because tax cuts are awesome. As a consequence, their money will lay around uselessly in banks and with investment firms while middle class America shrinks even further, thereby magnifying the economic and political power inherent to all those stockpiled assets.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Last I checked, we were Islamofascist, homosexual socialists.
At least that’s what Gretchen Carlson blinks to me in Morse Code every day.
Culture of Truth
If we have government-provided firefighting, the government will decide whose fires get put out and whose don’t.
I for one refuse to appear in front of one of Obama’s Panels of Fiery Death.
@Frank: Of course we can afford to invade and occupy Iraq. Because war is free. That’s why taxes never have to be raised to pay for them.
[Though now that I think of it, perhaps the Republicans are missing out on a great opportunity by not acknowledging that wars actually cost lots and lots of money. Because tax cuts raise revenue, right? So we have to cut taxes *twice as much* to pay for the wars we’re fighting. And in fact we should cut taxes four times as much because we may need to raise even more revenue for when we invade Iran. I should get a job with the RNC.]
Culture of Truth
Some conservatives are ok with firefighting in theory but not for mosques. They should all burn because they are an intolerant religion.
How about we end the War on Drugs and lay off the cops, prison guards, and prosecutors who run it. Then we can maintain fire service and refund the leftover cash to taxpayers.
How ’bout it, cons?
Just a month ago in San Diego, a rolling brownout at a fire station contributed to a toddler choking to death. Either you have coverage for the area or you don’t. If you have too much coverage, close the fire houses altogether. If you don’t have enough, open more. If you’re just right, but it’s expensive, do you really want to gamble on where an emergency might occur?
Sounds like my private firefighting company is about to start making some serious dough.
Heck, with their logic we should simply eliminate taxes. Can you imagine how much tax revenue our government could raise if we had no destructive taxes?! Heck, we could become another Somalia.
Where did you want the first fire started, boss?
The Republicans have everyone fooled.
They are NOT trying to drown the government in a bathtub, they are trying to choke off those things which impede the flow of money to “government contractors” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…)
Speaking of firefighters, there’s been a big push back on their overtime, at least in NYC.
But, of course, the reason there’s so much overtime is that they don’t hire enough fire fighters because they don’t want to pay benefits.
oh, shifts over? Okay, going home now; guess the fire will put itself out. You can do CPR on yourself, right?
I guess I’d point to the same article and say “QED”.
It’s shorter than “SATSQ”.
This is obviously terrible news for Democrats, because Obama’s bailouts have grown the debt so much that cities are broke from runaway inflation.
Cutting taxes will spur job creation and economic growth, restoring revenues for these vital services.
Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther
Well, this certainly seems like an excellent way to honor the brave firefighters who went to their deaths two blocks from the terror mosque nearly nine years ago today….
Is it time for a David Brooks column about how in 1942 Britain no one would have been moaning and whining about having their house burn down because they were more concerned about the survival of their nation and of freedom, and why do our people lack such discipline any more?
Every single “real” and “manly” position is only as real America as the photo op, and until they open their mouth.
This is a big meme on the right now. The deficit commission wants defense cut, but only in military pay and benefits, particularly medical care (“no legs and concussion syndrome because of an IED, well you need to be self-reliant and not a parasite on the Galts”), not cuts in defense contracts (appaently it is not parasitism when Galts are doing the sucking on the taxpayers). And they also are saying public safety workers are vastly overpaid.
Lowering pay and pensions will have consequences. You are going to get a lower quality recruit for one thing. Second, without the investment of a pension, the temptation of police corruption will be stronger as the average officer will have less to lose.
But that assumes that our Galtian elite cares whether the country is well policed and protected from fire and other natural disasters. They may think that all they need is a police force thuggish enough to keep the people in control and intimidated (think Mexico), and are indifferent to the idea of these folks becoming just one criminal gang among many.
Uncontrolled burns are the ultimate expression of Galtian principles in action!
@grendelkhan: Actually, if you listen to this May 25, 2001 NPR article on Norquist, you’ll hear him make the actual statement (near the end, around the 7:30 point of the 8:16 article).
It won’t stop them from claiming it was never said, of course.
Silly libs – you can’t see the forest fire for the trees.
OK, everybody follow along with me here:
A huge bubble in inflated housing values caused the financial crash, thus we now have a massively overbuilt stock of housing, plus a recession. New housing construction normally leads the economy out of a recession, but we can’t have that now because there is too much inventory. So the solution to having too much housing stock (thereby preventing the economy from recovering) is to reduce the overhang of existing inventory. And the cheapest, fastest and most efficient way to get rid of a lot of housing in a hurry is…
That’s what we call a FIRE sector recovery plan.
I remember this issue–not that I’m old enough but that its a staple of a good historical education. And it did come up in the health care debate–its one of the issues in controlling the spread of hepatitis and other things like TB, as you said. It was dramatized for us in the SARS and the Flu pandemic’s but the Democrats failed to make a dent in the popular ignorance of the nature of disease, insurance, and health care.
Also, what is this shuttering of local fire houses but a kind of free loading on towns that are paying their firefighters? Who pays for these forays across town lines? Is it done on a per incident basis? Its doubling the work and danger load for the firefighters who have jobs, how is that risk being handled?
Twenty closeted conservative lurkers just found this phrase maddeningly hot.
Davis X. Machina
@low-tech cyclist: Luckily many public employees can’t collect SS, because they don’t pay into it, and even when they earned enough quarters in their pre-parasite days to get it, they don’t get it, or don’t get much of it (GPO & WEP).
@Davis X. Machina: Yep. And if you’re lucky, such as many Colorado public employees, the people in charge of your alternative retirement plan decide to gut it so you get only a portion of what IT promised as well.
Davis X. Machina
I don’t think pre-paid cellular is a good business model for municipal government….
The bubble wasn’t the inflated housing values.
I must admit, I read the “rn” in burns as m, which made quite a lot of frightening sense.
Tone In DC
What happened in Colorado Springs is spreading.
No, for one it wouldn’t be Organic (what with all the harmful chemicals they’ve ingested.) Secondly, its frowned on using meat in compost, its a bacterial nightmare and requires a larger scale processing (well, there will be lots of bodies, that maybe needed.)
@Kirk Spencer: Oh, thank you. That’s delicious. I’ll be sure to hang onto a copy of that. (As soon as I can get mplayer to pull PNM streams, blah blah mlah.)
Next time you need a fireman, call Grover Norquist.
You don’t need a fireman to know which way the firestorm blows.
This is really bad. When you cut the fire budget like that, you get lots more Godzilla attacks. At least, you do in SimCity 2000.
I’m sorry, but my union support stops at firefighters. I live in San Francisco, and there are 1800 firefighters here who made over $100k last year. The vast majority of their calls are medical, and they have come to expect mandatory overtime, so they limit the number of new recruits or create low-paying paramedic jobs.
Firefighters – here, at least – are some of the best-compensated people out there. They often promote their cronies for one day so that they can retire with a pension that’s 150% of their maximum salary. The SF fire chief went to high school with the mayor and somehow kept her job after hitting her husband with a wine bottle.
I dated a girl who worked (as a civilian) in the FD for many years. Firehouses are full of sexism and lazy jerkoffs. Guys don’t ever get let go for showing up for work hammered.
If these are the guys I protect when I vote D, then I’m going to stop.
@morzer: Me too, bad fonts. Bad evil nasty fonts.
I have to wonder about the actual numbers, there’s usually a lot of exaggeration up to outright lies when unions are concerned. My friends’s friend may have said this is the case, but reality is often disappointing.
I could see this, though.
In Houston, they just had a teacher get caught on camera beating one of her special-needs students.
Clearly, we need to stop supporting teachers.
@Mark: Oh well, it’s not as if they like risk their lives or anything.
Honestly, I have no fucking problems with firefighters living high off the hog, you want the money? Tax the hell out of Paris “I was born with a silver spoon in my vagina” Hilton’s trust fund.
The departments handle their own costs. Generally the primary concern in mutual aid is liability. Certainly some communities can and do game poorly constructed mutual aid agreements.
9/11 is not an excuse to pay ridiculous salaries. We don’t pay miners or cabbies or soldiers six figures and they do dangerous jobs. Check the sf chron for salaries
From what I see-
If they make so much, they do so because of the nature of the job. You’re not telling us any reason why they don’t deserve the pay other than “they don’t deserve the pay”.
Miners and cabbies don’t work the same schedule. Soldiers are paid shit because they don’t make defense contracts. To them, it’s not the soldiers that win wars, it’s the technology.
Ok, here’s why they don’t deserve the pay. The firefighter’s job has dramatically changed over the last 30 years, particularly in San Francisco. They just don’t fight fires anymore – they go to medical calls, primarily for homeless people.
The FD will send two types of personnel to these calls: 1) Cross-trained firefighter-paramedics; 2) Lower-paid paramedics.
Because actual fires are so rare, #1 does almost entirely the same job as #2. But they get paid more than 2x what #2 does. Doesn’t make sense. The firefighters are getting a premium to do a paramedic’s job because they supposedly go out and risk their lives fighting fires. Except there are almost no fires left to fight here.
The SFFD has 1693 employees, including 1433 people who made $100k+ last year – that link you pointed me to is horseshit. Firefighters make $100k to $120k base.
The entire fire department for the City of San Jose had 858 employees, including civilians. The City of San Jose covers 206 miles vs 42 for San Francisco. San Jose has almost 10% more residents. Their FD salaries are $119M per year vs $205M for San Francisco.
This is no joke. San Francisco firefighters get paid roughly the same amount as SJ firefighters, but we’ve got twice as many of them. I know both of these cities extremely well and I can tell you that the SFFD has all those extra employees because it’s grossly inefficient, not because it somehow has a harder job to do.
You can reflexively suck up to them because they’re in a union, or you could actually think about it for a second.
We’ve got some of the worst fucking underfunded schools in the entire country here and every teacher I know gets laid off every single year. And yet we give $86M a year in extra salaries to a bunch of firefighters who make $100k+ per year instead.
SF nearly burned down after the 1906 quake. The SFFD is widely credited with preventing the same thing happening in ’89 after Loma Prieta. The fire department should be one of the last places to trim fat.
It’s not just firefighters getting laid off. Cities are selling their parking meters, they’re selling municipal waterworks, they’re selling their airports because of the budget deficits.
“Facing budget gaps, cities sell parking, airports, zoo,” Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2010.
This is the final death spiral of a collapsing society.
You’re all just being silly. The solution is obvious: schedule your house to burn down on the day the brigade is nearby!
I think a number of you have taken leave of your senses. Firefighters salaries come out of property, state and sales taxes. It’s a finite pool of money – regardless of how high your taxes are – and if we give firefighters everything they want, it comes out of schools, police protection, water quality, parks, transit, public health. Basically, everything that gets cut every year.
There’s no reason that fire departments shouldn’t be efficient, and there’s no reason that the SFFD needs to pay such a huge premium. Oh, I forgot, it would disrespect the memory of 9/11.
As for the claim that the SFFD was responsible for controlling the 1989 fires, horseshit. They got lucky – the extent of the fires was within the six-block range of their fireboats. Otherwise they were toast.
San Francisco doesn’t even have the same gauge firehoses as neighboring cities. That means they can’t easily bring in crews from outside in the case of a disaster. Oh, but of course, we should never expect the fire department to pull its weight.
Holy Fucking Shit is this timely for me.
Just last night I was on a long drive, thinking about how it’s been five years since my daughter had her first life-threatening epilectic seizure. When I am able to put aside the horrifying memory of my wife thinking our two-year-old lay dead in her arms, two of the most engrained moments of that morning are:
1. The response time. We had an Ann Arbor Fire Department truck in front of our house in under three minutes—faster than the police, faster than the ambulance.
2. The F.D. EMT looked at my daughter (who had revived slightly) for about one second, asked us which hospital we preferred, and had an oxygen mask on her and carried her to the ambulance the next second. Moments that likely saved her permanent brain damage, if not her life.
Conclusion: That service is necessary, invaluable and costs fucking money. And any Republican asshole who bitches about property taxes or thinks public services (and servants) are for suckers can—literally—die in a fucking fire.
I had pretty much that exact train of thought by myself in the car ten hours ago, and it feels good to type it out.
Equal Opportunity Cynic
I don’t see why @Mark‘s comments about San Francisco fire fighters are causing such consternation. Is it really that hard to fathom both that fire services are being cut in unacceptable ways across the US and that certain localized pockets of corruption and largess might persist?
The reflexive defense that the SFFD couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong looks like the sort of politics-as-team-sport that disgusts me about Republicans. Rah! Rah! Rah for our side!
maybe we should
Sounds like someone got rejected when they applied to the FD.
Links to these specious assertions, or they didn’t happen.
@Equal Opportunity Cynic:
Point me in the way of some facts or other items and I’ll be happy to review them.
Otherwise it’s just rampant douchebaggery.
Please remember to properly credit the bath scum that first brought us the image of shrinking government to the size so that it can be drowned in a bath tub GROVER NORDQUIST.
Dude, I’m an electrical engineer. Why would I want to be a firefighter? I was just unlucky enough to know someone who worked in the FD’s finance department and got to see all the b.s. they were pulling.
And seriously, I’m not your intern. Go read the SF Chronicle. They have great archives. You can read about guys being stoned at work, guys showing up drunk and getting it covered up by command staff, how the mayor appointed his incompetent friend to be the fire chief, how she’s an alcoholic who beat up her husband. The list really goes on and on. And you can look up all of their salaries in the paper’s salary database.
Two things: 1) Fire departments across the country are very data-driven. They have to be – they don’t get paid for EMS calls if they take more than 5 minutes (or 6 minutes, in some cases) to get to the call. So this is all tracked.
Firefighters (not just SFFD) don’t like data. They like the kind of b.s. scare tactics that convince so many people that cutting their corruption will lead to longer response times.
2) Why does an EMT need to be a firefighter? Is this seriously the most efficient use of tax dollars?
In California – because of Prop 13 – our city-wide property taxes are fixed. In tough economic times, they barely keep up with inflation. So when somebody says we should give in to the firefighters no matter what, it comes out of everything else.
I honestly can’t believe I’m even having this argument. If you’re screwing every other unionized employee who works for the city and cutting every other city service so that firefighters can make $150k a year, then you’re not pro-union.
If fire departments were profit-driven entities I might see the point of this comment. EMS calls need to happen in five minutes or less (if possible) because that’s generally the amount of time a person can survive in serious distress.
The fact that they had an oxygen mask on my daughters face less than five minutes after my 911 call is because the logistics of response coverage allowed it and medical necessity dictated it. I’m pretty sure the dispatcher, the driver and the EMS guy were concerned only with reaching the call for non-responsive, barely breathing child—not response quotas, data or department reimbursements.
Firefighters are a good match for EMS responders because the coverage is usually favorable. Everywhere I’ve lived with the exception of New York City, supplemental EMS services (ambulances) are volunteer-based, have roving coverage and are NEVER the first responder.
Your false choice would be what? To switch to a volunteer EMS service because some cities got into bad labor contracts? And the hell with the logistical issues which lead to real life and death consequences?
My father was a thirty-year professional firefighter and local union president—so I know all about this stuff, and I am perfectly willing to concede many municipal contracts are outrageous. But I recall with great clarity the Republican takeover of the municipal government in the 80s in that city and the immediate ideological-driven move to reduce FD staff and equipment in favor of smaller crews and compromised hybrid fire apparatus—why have a ladder truck and a pumper when you can have a quint fire truck that can’t really effectively do the job of either, and also halves the coverage at an event.
It was pure tax-cutting, “bloated government” scare tactics on the part of the assholes running the city NOT the FD that made legitimate arguments against that change.
California is practically a banana fucking republic with some of the outrageous shit going down there at all levels-from the recently exposed $750,000 City Manager to the referendums and legislative quagmire they’ve set out for themselves. Don’t use that brush to paint the problems around the rest of the country.
Putting words in my mouth. I’m advocating a public fire/EMS department where the employees get paid for the work they do, not for work we think they might do.
First of all, it’s pretty clear I’m talking about the SFFD. FFS, I gave the San Jose fire department, with an average salary of $138k, as an example of a unit to emulate.
Second, fire departments always raise this spectre of response time when they don’t want to become more efficient. We have tons of redundancy in San Francisco and we have fire stations that literally go out on one or two calls a week. But the SFFD fights any station brownouts – whether or not the firefighters could be deployed more efficiently elsewhere.
Third, the SFFD can hire more paramedics to do paramedic work, at a vastly lower salary that reflects what job they’re doing. But they’ve chosen to cross-train firefighters as paramedics – I’m fine with that; it is a better utilization of their workforce – and these guys are luck enough to get paid an amount commensurate with a job they’re no longer doing. We can’t simultaneously say that firefighters do this crazy dangerous jobs and deserve six figures for it, and then say that the reason we can never cut one cent out of the fire department is because we need them to go on non-fire medical calls.
No, you’re not my intern you are my little bitch.
You are the fucking scumbag making wild and baseless accusations here, the proof is on you.
I am not going to surf a major metro publication looking for the bullshit you are spouting. Unlike you, I have things to do that do not include baseless schmearing. If you got something then fucking produce it. Show your work clownshoe.
Otherwise go choke on a bag of dicks.
That’s because you’re not having an honest discussion.
The data points you seem to rely on indicate that we make firefighter response an efficient tool, and only have them respond to fire calls.
I for one see firefighters as a necessary benefit of a society. How exactly would you use the data you keep citing to schedule rotations, or firehouse staff? You going to use historical fires to plan what shifts and days of the week you’re going to staff the house?
And in the case of the outlier? Let it burn?
Like a line mechanic at a Ford dealership? They flag a brake job for 2 hours, a window replacement at .75? God bless the mechanics, but you are a flat fucking idiot.
Reading the complete bullshit posted by Mark I am reminded of the testimony of Capt Sully.
We somehow expect these individuals with great responsibility, in some cases holding hundreds of lives in their hands at a time to do what we expect like they were automatons we could just plug in and go. Like data points could backfill the gaps if something bad happened.
And firefighters are no different. We want them, and need them, to be the best we can possibly expect. Sometimes just our possessions rely on it. Sometimes the most important thing in the world relies on their response, training and proficiency.
Every time I see a firetruck fight its way through traffic I’m struck by two thoughts. It must be the worst thing in the world to need that truck show up. And it must be the best thing in the world to see them show up.
So Mark, you can fucking dig your own hole and go lay down in it til the birds find you. You fucking punk.
“I’m fine with baseless schmears, thanks.”
You have to be the biggest fucking douchebag on the face of the planet.
You don’t even know that fire department response times are for ambulance services and EMS calls, not just for fires.
And no matter what information I give you, you’ll tell me to go suck some cocks.
If you can’t imagine a world in which there might be an almost all-male union that abuses the memory of 9/11 to get six-figure salaries and annual raises at double or triple inflation so that they can have big spreads in other counties and cover for their alcoholic buddies…All the while starving the rest of our city government services…Well, then you’re just batshit stupid.
Of course, you proved your batshit stupidity when you thought I wanted to be a firefighter.
How about you try pointing me to some of the facts you are using to base your argument on and we’ll see what happens from there?
Instead of your baseless assertions I mean. Which you keep repeating even after being asked to provide sourcing.
And there’s nothing wrong with sucking cock, or some cocks. It’s the choking part I’d prefer you indulge in.
Seriously, I’m not your fucking intern, and I’m not your fucking bitch. You’re just a stupid fucking asshole who, for some reason, can’t get it through his fat piece of shit head that there are some firefighters out there who are totally gaming the system.
Just because firefighters in New York ran into the WTC doesn’t mean that a bunch of high school dropouts in San Francisco who never go to actual fires aren’t hurting themselves while they’re working at their drywall businesses and then getting 150% of salary in disability payments from the city of San Francisco.
Have a little imagination. Being a union member doesn’t mean you aren’t a crook.
You have been asked multiple times to put some truth down here. You have refused.
You keep repeating vague assertions of scumbaggery, or mal intent, alcoholism, fraud and other nefarious shit.
And when asked to give the rest of us simpletons a chance to evaluate the situation for ourselves, you just keep repeating what you have said has to be true because they are really bad guys, we should all go golden goose egg hunting for facts of your assertions and fuck all of us that want more evidence or studies or any god damned thing we can independently verify.
You don’t know me and I don’t know you. If I kept repeating I’ve been fucking your mom for the last 5 years would that make it true?
No. I’d be expected to at least provide some low light vid of me schtupping her up the ass.
BTW, I’ve been fucking your mom for the last 5 years. And your little brother.
I can imagine a lot of things. Most of them don’t have to do with supporting your false and fact free assertions.
Fact up or shut up you little bitch.
The moon is made of green cheese! The moon is made of green cheese!
Don’t believe me? Go find proof it isn’t.
Have some imagination, think about the possibility the moon is made of green cheese. Don’t be so reliant on independent facts I refuse to link you to. Argle bargle!
The moon is made of green cheese!