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Author Topic: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!  (Read 12937 times)

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Offline Mr.Public

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Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« on: January 15, 2010, 08:25:34 PM »

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If you live in the county you are aware of the tax that already exists that is allocated to the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District.  As it stands now the tax pays the district 21 cents per every 100 dollars of assessed property value.  The new proposal will raise that amount by 25 cents to 46 cents per every 100 dollars of assessed value.  This tax is only assessed to property owners in the protection district and not those people living within the city limits of Waynesville.  The new tax won’t go into effect until January 2011, so there will be enough time to prepare for the increase.

First, let’s look at how much you would actually have to pay under the new tax plan.  Say you have an assessed property value of 150,000 dollars.  Under the new tax you will only need to pay 71.25 dollars annually.  This is only a small increase from the current system.  Don't immediately write this off.  It has far more beneficial aspects than negative, and it would be well worth the money. 

What would the new funds be used for within the fire district?  The money would be split into three different areas: 

First, 20 cents of the additional amount would be allocated to keep the full time staff employed.  Traditionally, when you live in an area that has a full time staff it lowers your homeowner's insurance noticeably.  Having paid personnel lowers response times, and since the department began employing full time shifts the response time to all parts of the district has been cut in half.  Lowered response times means more efficient EMS responses and better opportunities to save homes and property in cases of fire.  On an all volunteer department the response times range anywhere from 6-10 minutes just for a full crew to get to the station.  Add the amount of time it takes to put gear on and the time it takes to get from the station to the call, and the response time would suffer greatly.   

Second, 4 cents of the new tax money would be put toward a capital improvement fund.  This is for replacing older apparatus that in some cases are 38 years old.  The newest fire engine that the department owns is a 1999.  The replacement program would replace the older trucks with newer, more contemporary trucks to strengthen the reliability of the fleet.  Also, the program will go to update and improve on the existing stations and to build newer stations in the outer regions of the district.     

Lastly, 1 cent would be used to fund the Public Education and Firefighter Training Program. The increased funds into this area will expand the fire prevention work that the department does with school age children in the area schools, and would allow the department to spend more time working in the schools throughout the year.  The program would also fund a Smoke Detector Program.  This program would be for purchasing and installing smoke detectors in the homes of elderly residents in the district.  Finally this program would further the training of all department personnel, career or volunteer, on all aspects of the fire service. 

The mission of the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District is to support the community’s goal of increased fire safety and education, while producing highly trained and motivated personnel capable of meeting that goal.  The uses of the new tax money will benefit all of the people in the district and in the surrounding districts.  For few extra dollars annually the people of the area will have a well trained, well equipped, and adequately staffed fire protection every second of every day.  Without the money, it won’t be possible to provide the service that the area has become accustomed to.  If you want or need anymore information on the tax issue or the department in general contact the Waynesville Fire Station or talk to the firefighters whenever you see them. 

Offline Lepard LLC

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 08:58:38 PM »
Just always surprises me how everyone wants the funds doubled from what they currently operate on. Seems like a sudden big jump to me.
 
The tax payers have voted down a sales tax already, so now we have a new idea to raise money.
 
I doubt this will pass..
 
Personally I don't have enough information on their current budget to decide wether they need it or not.
 
I do, however, appreciate your coming on here to inform us about this proposal, just wish we had more information.
 
Are you currently running under or over budget? What are your expenses and what are your income numbers? Are you deep in debt now? How has the board been managing our money to date?
 
 
 
 
If you live in the county you are aware of the tax that already exists that is allocated to the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District.  As it stands now the tax pays the district 21 cents per every 100 dollars of assessed property value.  The new proposal will raise that amount by 25 cents to 46 cents per every 100 dollars of assessed value.  This tax is only assessed to property owners in the protection district and not those people living within the city limits of Waynesville.  The new tax won’t go into effect until January 2011, so there will be enough time to prepare for the increase.

First, let’s look at how much you would actually have to pay under the new tax plan.  Say you have an assessed property value of 150,000 dollars.  Under the new tax you will only need to pay 71.25 dollars annually.  This is only a small increase from the current system.  Don't immediately write this off.  It has far more beneficial aspects than negative, and it would be well worth the money. 

What would the new funds be used for within the fire district?  The money would be split into three different areas: 

First, 20 cents of the additional amount would be allocated to keep the full time staff employed.  Traditionally, when you live in an area that has a full time staff it lowers your homeowner's insurance noticeably.  Having paid personnel lowers response times, and since the department began employing full time shifts the response time to all parts of the district has been cut in half.  Lowered response times means more efficient EMS responses and better opportunities to save homes and property in cases of fire.  On an all volunteer department the response times range anywhere from 6-10 minutes just for a full crew to get to the station.  Add the amount of time it takes to put gear on and the time it takes to get from the station to the call, and the response time would suffer greatly.   

Second, 4 cents of the new tax money would be put toward a capital improvement fund.  This is for replacing older apparatus that in some cases are 38 years old.  The newest fire engine that the department owns is a 1999.  The replacement program would replace the older trucks with newer, more contemporary trucks to strengthen the reliability of the fleet.  Also, the program will go to update and improve on the existing stations and to build newer stations in the outer regions of the district.     

Lastly, 1 cent would be used to fund the Public Education and Firefighter Training Program. The increased funds into this area will expand the fire prevention work that the department does with school age children in the area schools, and would allow the department to spend more time working in the schools throughout the year.  The program would also fund a Smoke Detector Program.  This program would be for purchasing and installing smoke detectors in the homes of elderly residents in the district.  Finally this program would further the training of all department personnel, career or volunteer, on all aspects of the fire service. 

The mission of the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District is to support the community’s goal of increased fire safety and education, while producing highly trained and motivated personnel capable of meeting that goal.  The uses of the new tax money will benefit all of the people in the district and in the surrounding districts.  For few extra dollars annually the people of the area will have a well trained, well equipped, and adequately staffed fire protection every second of every day.  Without the money, it won’t be possible to provide the service that the area has become accustomed to.  If you want or need anymore information on the tax issue or the department in general contact the Waynesville Fire Station or talk to the firefighters whenever you see them.

Offline Mr.Public

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 10:23:50 PM »
The 2010 budget for the fire protection district is 583,501.  That is our normal annual budget, just over 400,000 dollars, plus an additional amount that comes from the SAFR's Grant we received in 2008. 

A good portion of the budget goes to paying personnel (approx. 342,000 dollars) and providing insurance for all personnel (approx. 69,000 dollars).  We operate out of 3 stations and have associated utilities at all 3.  We have lease payments on our main station and a majority of the vehicles.  The rest of the money is used for things like cleaning supplies and necessities inside the stations, maintenance on the stations, apparatus and equipment. 

For 2010, the entire budget has been allocated down to the last cent.  If maintenance on the trucks run over unexpectedly or other surprise charges come up it affects the budget and money has to be pulled away from other areas.

The department has always actively pursued state and federal grants to aid in the purchase of gear, equipment and other necessities for the fire service.  In the past we have received sizeable grants for areas that were in need of extra funding (bunker gear, radios, air packs, etc.), but the grants aren't as easy to come by nowadays.  The tax increase would alleviate the dependence on wayward grant monies.   

The point that was made about it being a surprise that people want budgets doubled, and how big of a jump it would be.  I understand the concern but it is for a good reason.  The extra tax money would help us to be a permanent and self sustaining entity.  It would also help to provide the improved service and reliability that comes from having a full time paid department.  All department records, except those having to do with personnel information and issues, are public knowledge and are available to anyone.  If the answers I gave aren't specific enough requests can be made for that information.   
 

Offline cowboy

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 11:00:12 PM »
How many people are currently paid?

Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2010, 12:06:29 AM »
The extra $70 +/- it would cost could easily be made up in lower insurance premiums.  My premium was lowered by around $100 because of how close I lived to a fire hydrant...
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline Valor7

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 12:34:15 AM »
It can make a big change. Way back in the old days when I was a firefighter at the School of the Ozarks, Pt. Lookout, Mo. I was asked (during my student worktime) to assist the Hartford Fire Insurance rep who was inspecting the school. It took about 10 days but in the end we dropped the schools ISO rating by almost two whole numbers. The school admin folks about fainted when they saw the extremely lower insurance bill.
 
I will not say that after that I could do no wrong on campus but that would be close to true. So do not under estimate what a tax increase of this kind could do for you in lowering your home or business bills.
 
   JB

Offline okie the thread killer

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010, 12:46:21 AM »
The extra $70 +/- it would cost could easily be made up in lower insurance premiums.  My premium was lowered by around $100 because of how close I lived to a fire hydrant...
But you live in the city, I live in the county, there are no fire hydrants.
I have it on good authority that the Hokey-Pokey really IS what it's all about.

Offline Mr.Public

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2010, 01:21:32 AM »
If you live in the county and don't have the benefit of getting your taxes lowered by the proximity of hydrants on the municipal system, then having a full time fire department is just as good.  The cost could very well be made up by or be dampened by the discounts that come with being covered by a full time department.  When all is said and done, you might have broken even between the two bills. 
 
To answer the other question, we have 12 full time shift workers, 2 part time employees, and the fire chief.  One of the agreements of the grant was that the jobs that existed before the grant needed to remain.  The part timers split the day in half working from 8a-12p and 12p-4p.  The full timers are split into 3 shifts of four that rotate working 48 hrs on and 96 hrs off.
 
 

Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 01:26:27 AM »
But you live in the city, I live in the county, there are no fire hydrants.

One of the things they asked about was whether we had a full time or part time FD.  I guess I should go back to the insurance company now and let them know we have a full time FD and see how that affects my rates... then again, I'm about ready to switch insurance companies anyway...
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline Yankee Trader

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 01:58:42 PM »
What is the financial arrangement between the City of Waynesville and the Fire District?  I would hope you have a sizeable contract with the city.  How does that affect your budget?

Is your revenue not going up with all the new construction that is still ongoing in your area?

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 05:51:02 PM »
Is the LE tax going to be on that ballot?

Offline Valor7

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2010, 09:24:59 PM »
Is the LE tax going to be on that ballot?

  Not to my knowledge.
JB

Offline Mr.Public

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 05:03:41 AM »
The fire department has a contract with the city. That contract says the tax on persons living within the city will pay an equal percentage to those persons living in the fire district.  The money the department gets from the city taxes will increase as well.  The increase of the tax on the fire district will raise the amount appropriated by the city equally.


The contract the department is in accordance to state statutes. 

Offline anonymous362

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2010, 09:51:30 PM »
i think that after the fire at shannon valley apartments it is clear that the full time firefighters need to be kept around.  if they hadn't gotten there as fast as they did, those people could have died and more people could have lost their homes.  i for one will vote yes on the 6th i hope everyone else sees how important this actually is.

Offline Valor7

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 01:28:35 AM »
i think that after the fire at shannon valley apartments it is clear that the full time firefighters need to be kept around.  if they hadn't gotten there as fast as they did, those people could have died and more people could have lost their homes.  i for one will vote yes on the 6th i hope everyone else sees how important this actually is.



      Yes for me on 6th.
JB

Offline blissfullybusy

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2010, 03:52:15 AM »
Just always surprises me how everyone wants the funds doubled from what they currently operate on. Seems like a sudden big jump to me.
 

I agree
Women are Angels

And when someone breaks our wings....

We simply continue to fly.........on a broomstick...

Because we are flexible like that

Offline jd65457

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2010, 08:36:43 PM »
I just don't understand the need to double our taxes because of the way the district mismanages there budget. If you know you couldnt afford your F.F why hire so many? You have a ladder truck right? how is it justified with 3 other departments in the area having one also... That's a lot of money that could have been spent else where... I'm not to familiar with your district but i hear its ran by your officers? is that correct. How is it possible to run a department in such a way? There's a lot of questions that i would like to be answered before i can say id even considering voting to more than double my tax.     

Offline Lepard LLC

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2010, 11:29:20 PM »
Isn't this like the 4th attempt to pass this tax? The money spent on the ballots could have bought some nice equipment.

Offline brooky

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2010, 03:22:16 AM »
The ladder truck was bought used, but it also helps with the ISO rating. With the fulltime staff. The reason for "so many firefighters" is because the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District recieved a grant to hire 12 fulltime positions, also per NFPA having four people on a Engine is considered a full crew. That means when they arrive on scene they can make an interior attack, getting the fire out faster. The department is run day to day by the fire chief, but there is a five person board that votes on anything the department needs or wants. These people on the board have been voted in by the pulic the serve terms just like th sheriff or commisioners. If you have any questions just call the station the number is 573 774 5449.

Offline jd65457

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2010, 04:01:54 AM »
Isn't this like the 4th attempt to pass this tax? The money spent on the ballots could have bought some nice equipment.

I agree, it's seeming more and more like a desperation attempt to get it passed...

Offline jd65457

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2010, 04:08:53 AM »
The ladder truck was bought used, but it also helps with the ISO rating. With the fulltime staff. The reason for "so many firefighters" is because the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District recieved a grant to hire 12 fulltime positions, also per NFPA having four people on a Engine is considered a full crew. That means when they arrive on scene they can make an interior attack, getting the fire out faster. The department is run day to day by the fire chief, but there is a five person board that votes on anything the department needs or wants. These people on the board have been voted in by the pulic the serve terms just like th sheriff or commisioners. If you have any questions just call the station the number is 573 774 5449.

So your telling me that the neighboring ladder trucks don't give you an iso rating? It may have been used but its still big, it still cost money plus it added to that maintenance budget your also talking about. Your chief is paid right? Why couldn't you have three personal to a shift and allow your chief to also attend on your truck giving you adequate manpower to have that so called Full Crew you speak of.  And as far as your board members go they may have been voted in by us but does that make it right for them to control the department that there on...  and as far as the grant Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the City of st.robert get the same personel grant which gave them Full time firefighters ? if so they only have three to a shift. That's an average savings of 75,000.00 a Year in just pay roll not to mention medical and retirement,  (that was at an average pay of 25,000.00 a year i'm not sure what waynesville makes)

Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2010, 11:33:59 AM »
i think that after the fire at shannon valley apartments it is clear that the full time firefighters need to be kept around.  if they hadn't gotten there as fast as they did, those people could have died and more people could have lost their homes.  i for one will vote yes on the 6th i hope everyone else sees how important this actually is.

I was at the Shannon Valley fire; it's less than a minute away from where I live. I published a photograph of the apartment engulfed in flames, taken just four minutes after the emergency personnel pulled the residents out.
 
Take a close look at that photo, which I have attached to this post. Two people were in the upstairs apartment you see in that photo. Both were trapped and desperately calling on their cell phone for help. A delay of even a minute or two more, and these two people would have been burned alive in the blaze.

It's up to the voters whether or not to approve the tax increase, but there is no question that two people (actually three, one of the two was pregnant) would be dead without full-time firefighters. Yes, I know that Mike McCart (a paramedic who is also a former firefighter and has special training in these types of emergency rescues) is the one who climbed up the ladder, but without a fire truck there would have been no ladder to climb.
 
People often forget that for an all-volunteer department, after they hear a page, the firefighters have to get in their cars, drive to the station, put on their gear, get on the fire truck, and drive to the scene. I can assure you that there is nothing more frustrating for a family standing outside a burning home than for me to show up as a reporter five minutes before the fire trucks.
 
Before St. Robert and Waynesville had full-time firefighters, that used to happen more often than I care to count for the simple reason that all I have to do when I hear a page is to put on my tie, grab my camera and my computer, and drive to the scene. That almost never happens now that the two departments closest to me have full-time firefighters; Shannon Valley is a rare exception caused by the fact that I live closer to the fire than the fire station.
 
Again, it is up to the voters to decide whether the Waynesville area can afford a full-time department. But there will definitely be consequences if the district is no longer full-time, and that is a very realistic possibility if some sort of funding source is not found for the fire district.

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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2010, 11:58:04 AM »
If you want to read more about the Shannon Valley fire, read this:
 
Shannon Valley resident in critical condition following rescue from fire

Two people were saved from this burning apartment, photographed only minutes after the last person was pulled from the blaze.
Shannon Valley resident in critical condition following rescue from fire
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 25, 2010) — Only minutes before their apartment was consumed by fire, assistant chief paramedic Mike McCart climbed into the second floor of a burning apartment complex and rescued a man and woman trapped inside. McCart, who was dressed in his paramedic uniform rather than firefighters’ bunker gear, said he was on the scene just after a Waynesville fire truck which arrived at 12:16 a.m. That truck arrived seven minutes after the blaze was reported to the 911 Center at 12:09 a.m. “When I got on scene there was Waynesville PD and one fire truck,” McCart said. “They were trying to clear the building and they were trying to find out which apartment because the people who were contacting the communications center on their cell phone kept giving us the apartment number but we had no idea where the apartment was.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...

By Darrell Todd Maurina
 
Two residents rescued from burning Shannon Valley apartment complex

This Shannon Valley apartment building is a total loss.
Two residents rescued from burning Shannon Valley apartment complex
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 25, 2010) — Two residents of the Shannon Valley apartment complex are in serious condition after being pulled out of a burning second-floor apartment, firefighters reported early Thursday morning. Both were treated for smoke inhalation and did not suffer burns, according to Mike McCart, deputy chief of the Pulaski County Ambulance District. A few other residents of the 16-unit apartment building were treated and released at the scene for minor cuts and bruises, he said; no firefighters or other emergency personnel were hurt. Deputy Chief Drew Cassidy of the St. Robert Fire Department said the blaze eventually became a five-alarm fire with firefighters being called in from as far away as Lebanon and Doolittle to assist. The cause of the blaze isn’t yet known, but officials with the state fire marshal’s office are on the scene attempting to determine what happened. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...

By Darrell Todd Maurina
 
Shannon Valley Apartments engulfed in fire; multiple residents trapped

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at Shannon Valley Apartments
Shannon Valley Apartments engulfed in fire; multiple residents trapped
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 25, 2010) — Firefighters from throughout the area responded shortly after midnight Thursday to a report of a fully-involved structure fire at Shannon Valley Apartments in Waynesville. Upon arrival, firefighters received a report of multiple people trapped inside one of the apartments in a multi-unit building. It’s not known whether firefighters were able to rescue those trapped in the building; firefighters shouted repeatedly, “Is anyone in there” while identifying people at windows calling for help. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...

By Darrell Todd Maurina
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline just_here

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2010, 01:13:54 PM »
It's amazing to me how people want to nickle and dime those organizations that were put in place to watch over our safety.  jd65457, you can have substandard service if you wish, but for me and my family, especially after what happened at Shannon Valley, I think I'll take the absolute best that I can get. 
 
As far as I'm concerned, WRFPD knew there was a problem with response time and that service to the community could be dramatically enhanced with a full-time fire department.  They did their part by researching grants, applying for and then receiving the grant which allowed them to hire 12 full-time firefighters.  As with any grant, there are stipulations that must be met in order to receive that money.  The grant was for 12, not 9 and pocket the savings.  As far as the Chief taking on the roll of the 4th crew member, even though he is paid, I don't think it is fair to expect him to work 24-7 in order to be that 4th person all the time.  The ladder truck issue?  Even if there are other ladder trucks on other departments, the priority for those trucks lie within their district.  I would hate to think that another Shannon Valley incident turned bad because St. Robert's ladder truck was tied up on another call and could not assist WRFPD.  I would want that ladder truck on scene within the few minutes it would take for it to respond from base, not the drive-time from Hazelgreen or some other location.  That's too much like playing Russian Roulette with my family's safety.
 
I'm all for responsible budgeting and holding organizations accountable for poor spending.  However, in this case, I just don't see poor management.  They took the inititative to get the grant in order to hire full-time staff, they are now asking for our help in sustaining the higher quality of service that staff provides.  As I said before, if I ever found myself and my family in that type of situation, I want my fire district, police department or emergency medical personnel showing up with the best equipment and the proper amount of trained staff in order to insure I have the highest possiblity of survival. The cost of my children's burial would be alot more than the tax they are asking for.

Offline Valor7

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2010, 01:46:14 PM »
""""""""""""""I'm all for responsible budgeting and holding organizations accountable for poor spending.  However, in this case, I just don't see poor management.  They took the inititative to get the grant in order to hire full-time staff, they are now asking for our help in sustaining the higher quality of service that staff provides.  As I said before, if I ever found myself and my family in that type of situation, I want my fire district, police department or emergency medical personnel showing up with the best equipment and the proper amount of trained staff in order to insure I have the highest possiblity of survival. The cost of my children's burial would be alot more than the tax they are asking for."'
 
    The above statement from the prior post caught my eye. I am in the same boat. I managed to get two federal grants that pay 100% for two years for 8 new people to help my department advance. In two years we will have to be funded on the local level or else we go back to the old inadequate way of doing business. This county has grown and our new problems are much worse than the old problems. We need to grow!!      JB


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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2010, 01:47:20 AM »
Tic Toc Tic Toc Tik Toc
Hickory dickory doc.....Three mice ran up the clock......The clock struck one......and 2 got away with just minor injurys  ;D   ::)
Remember I'm a nudist so when you respond to one of my post yor talking to a naked man  :)


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Offline Lepard LLC

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2010, 02:14:22 AM »
Got awful quiet around here..
 
 
Hickory dickory doc.....Three mice ran up the clock......The clock struck one......and 2 got away with just minor injurys  ;D   ::)

Offline jd65457

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2010, 03:17:54 AM »
just_here  You have obvisouly misinterpeted my text, I don't feel that the cheif should ride twenty four hours a day no.  But I do feel that he could have been the forth man  thru out the day mon-fri which i think is his schedule?  And the rest of the time he could just go direct that is if he feels like driving from phelps county... ***(((*   And Rick your right it is amazing how quiet this page has become since the facts are coming out....  I again will not be voting for this tax.   Sorry Waynesville do some better managing and maybe the community will change there opinions of it

Offline anonymous362

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Re: Important vote in April! SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2010, 07:53:37 PM »
I'm going to address a few things mentioned on this thread.  I'll start with the easiest.  The 71 dollars in question is in addition to what the taxpayers are already paying annually.  It wasn't meant to be advertised as a total expense.  Also, you want to throw out state statute to make it seem as though the department is violating the law.  The only way it would be a violation would be if the 2 of the 5 board members who actually are firefighters on the fire board were on the payroll as employees, which they are not.  You ask when the last time our outlying stations have had trucks in them that have been essential in extinguishing a fire or handling an emergency.  The tankers that are housed at either station roll to every structure fire not located within the municipal water systems.  We cover 164 sq miles, which means that the bulk of our calls are ran away from hydrant systems and municipal water systems.  The outlying stations also house brush trucks and a Ranger that volunteers can grab in case of large brush fires.  The 28 station also houses a truck that was  used on several calls this year, and was also used to assist people that were trapped in the floods last spring. 
 
As for our handling of the SAFERs grant that we received.  The A in SAFERs means adequate, and when we were writting the grant we decided to set the number of personnel on each shift to the NFPA definition of ADEQUATE staffing.  NFPA 1710 5.2.3.1.1 says that in order to be in compliance, engine companies must be staffed by a minimum of 4 personnel. 
 
We are not a paid department.  We are a "combination" department.  Four staffers can't be expected to handle a full scale alarm by themselves.  Take the Shannon Valley Apartment fire recently.  With the staffing that we had on duty and the mutual aid companies that responded, there was still need for more help, and we got that from our volunteers.  We will not phase out our volunteers.  We began as a volunteer department and having them on hand is too valueable of an asset.  St. Robert, the only other paid department in the area, is also a "combination" department.  In emergency responses having members of the officer corps show up to scenes ahead of the engine allows us to get an accurate size up and action plan before arriving so that we can begin working as soon as possible.  Also having them respond allows for the crew chiefs to step out of a command role and assist in the progress of fire ground operations.  It seems like a cheap shot to throw an accident in the faces of the people who dedicate their time to assisting in anyway that they can with helping the people of this community.  The person who had the accident responded to 30% of our calls last year.  That is 269 of the 892 calls that were ran.  He and the other officers that respond to the scenes direct run nearly as many calls as each person on full time shifts, nearly 15% more than the next highest volunteers, and they are all incredibly instrumental on every call that they respond to.  It is no more dangerous for our volunteers to respond code to the station than it is for the ambulance, sheriffs department, city police, and fire trucks to run code, yet you are not suggesting that they stop.
 
Yes, St. Robert does have 3 persons on shift, and they do a great job.  But their budget is roughly twice that of ours.  Their coverage area is 7 sq miles and ours is 164 sq miles.  We cover a lot of area, put a lot of mileage on the trucks, and run more calls than any other department in Pulaski County. 
 
The last thing I'll talk about is the fact that you are calling in to question the ethics of this department.  You do not seem to know the rules and regulations governing the board and who is allowed to be a member.  Know what you are talking about before you cast out allegations and try to slander the department.  We aren't trying to pull one over on the taxpayers, nor are we trying to gain anything for ourselves.  We pushed for a full time crew to provide efficient, effective, and top notch fire protection to the people of this area.  Since going full time, our initial response times (getting a truck en route to the scene) have decreased (from 10-12 as an all volunteer to 1-2 minutes with a full time shift), we have been able to do more work in the community, and the level of effectiveness has risen.  I am biased in saying that I want this tax to pass, but I know that I wouldn't want to live in an area that didn't have a full time fire department.