We have begun to reach out to many of you in the Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement communities to help us gain the hard facts and numbers on how changes government decisions are affecting areas across the United States.

Time in and out, we are hearing of agencies redistributing their resources from one side of the City to the other, or it may be that the City no longer has the revenue and begins to start cutting positions leaving those left to make up for short staffing. In one City, they have several EMS fire resources taken out of service every day because they don’t have enough staffing to operate the equipment. 

A union President once told me that their crews were responding to a medical call, which happened to be the wife of the City Council.  It was more or less a BLS call, but they had the gall to complain that they wanted her to be transported by medic to the hospital.  Well, the firefighters explained she was only BLS, therefore she could not be transported by Medic unit.

They offered to call an ambulance for transport, but they balked saying they were paying for their services and they wanted to be treated over and above other residents.  It was explained that since their funding had been cut, they were unable to transport because then that would take out another ALS unit that could be used for other more serious calls, such as CPR in progress, MVA or any other life-threatening emergency. 

The wife and the City Councilmember could not even fathom that when you call for a medic unit, you get one and when you ask to be transported to the hospital, you receive that service – whether it is a BLS or an ALS call. 

I had hoped from the story being told, that  they would have made better decisions from the day forward, but I was just being more naive than this couple. 

The purpose of this study is to show the actual numbers on how public safety is putting residents’ lives in jeopardy with longer response times, especially for those resources that are in rural areas, to those who find staffing reductions leaving those still on the job at greater risk for injury or exhaustion, to those who find they are forced to be reduced from an Engine Company to a two-person Squad unit.  These incidents are happening all around the States.

Here is another prime example, that has literally sent out a call for us to do this study.  Detroit  Fire has been struggling for many years from their City Government basically abandoning them.  What does this say about Detroit’s willingness to take care of their own? 

Everyone knows that when someone calls 9-1-1, they expect fire and police to show up, right?  Well, in Detroit that happens alright, but what firefighters say happens, is that must respond no matter what.  Here’s the thing that is going on mainly in that area is, that people who decide they may be no longer “needing” their home decide to torch it, then they call the fire department to respond.  Half of the time, fire crews are walking into a trap, putting their lives in danger.  Not only does the City not help curb the problem, they are “ignoring” it. 

Additional reports of fire house robberies, where criminals call in a bogus 9-1-1 call and wait for fire crews to empty the station, break-in and steal what they want.  There was even one report where one person waited for firefighters to leave then torched their station.

If the City had more resources to “man” their stations, a lot of these problems may be lessened.  It is so sad to hear firefighters being put in the line of fire everyday and their governments refusing to budge in protecting them.  It is so expected for them to protect and serve the citizens but elected leaders have given up on that belief.

Now, is the time to stand up for what’s right and bring the numbers and stories to those who need to hear the truth.  We are a huge advocate of Fire/EMS/First Responders (including LEO).  

We are looking for volunteers to participate in our study to gain the numbers from your area.  It can be anonymous by leaving the information and source (we will need to verify the info) by sending it to us by email nwfireblog@yahoo.com.  We will not publish your name or agency providing the information.

Keep up the great work you all do though it may seem more than  you can handle at times.   We are your biggest advocates when it comes to what you do so well. 

(c) 2013 The NW Fire Blog

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