Volunteer firefighters blast Cuomo co...

Volunteer firefighters blast Cuomo consolidation bill

There are 328 comments on the Newsday story from May 28, 2009, titled Volunteer firefighters blast Cuomo consolidation bill. In it, Newsday reports that:

Volunteer firefighters are barraging lawmakers with complaints about a bill from state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to streamline consolidation of fire districts and other local governments.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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yea

Westport, CT

#1 May 28, 2009
Tax Relief is on it's way !!!!!
golflet

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

#2 May 28, 2009
your article on the consolidation of fire districts sparked my interest. I was a volunteer firefighter for 25 years and recently relocated to Florida. As a retiree, I have observed how a paid department in Florida operates and I can tell you that some of the arguments being made about not consolidating districts are bogus. Departments down here operate with a ambulance and a single pumper at most of their substations. While on Long Island the amount of equipment that each department has is out of control. Multiple Rescue trucks in one district is common place while down here, they are strategically placed. There is no question in my mind that a consolidation of districts would save an awful lot of money. I know that the amount of political pressure on elected officals will be difficult to take, but these officals need to do the right thing and not succumb to pressure. In the long run, this is the right thing to do. The amount of excessive spending by these fire districts should be considered criminal - no one has the guts to say "no".
Thank you Newsday for exposing this. I know that firemen will say that this will cause a change in attitude among the members, but I sincerely believe that this can be overcome. Good Luck with your fight.
Really

AOL

#3 May 28, 2009
Special taxing districts, with little or no oversight are the bane of the taxpayer. A good bill that needs to become law. As a past chief of an Island FD, I can understand some concern, but not alarm. FD districts just have to keep the taxpayers part of the loop. Today it's transparency and FD districts have to step up and lower the drawbridge.
poconoweeze

Effort, PA

#4 May 28, 2009
old enough to remember mario the dad and matilda the mom who her family was tied to organized crime when he was gov. does that shake anyone up???????
JJJr

Bronxville, NY

#5 May 28, 2009
I agree that the fire districts should keep the tax payers in the loop, Get the word out when you need new equipment and why. The days of " we know best" and we will get what we want are gone ! And if they smell a rat with the secrecy, believe me , they will throw a monkey wrench into the works! What I don't understand, is why Cuomo jr. is sticking his big nose into this? He has enough problems getting the pensions off the fat cat school lawyers who should be in jail now! Or was that just lip service?
Dad

Bronx, NY

#6 May 29, 2009
A bad idea for thousands of VOLUNTEER firefighters who protect their local communities for hundreds of years.If taxes are to be lowered then why are we paying NCPD 3 figure salaries when they should be 2 figure salaries.Lets face it the cop working in Harlem should make more money then the cop working in Massapequa,and if we had payed Firefighters?????????
icisin

Nyack, NY

#7 May 29, 2009
One countywide school district, one countywide library district, one countywide fire department.
While we are at it

Brooklyn, NY

#8 May 29, 2009
Dad wrote:
A bad idea for thousands of VOLUNTEER firefighters who protect their local communities for hundreds of years.If taxes are to be lowered then why are we paying NCPD 3 figure salaries when they should be 2 figure salaries.Lets face it the cop working in Harlem should make more money then the cop working in Massapequa,and if we had payed Firefighters?????????
YES! And while we're at it, why does a VOLUNTEER fire department on Long Island need several brand new state of the art fire trucks while FDNY members drive around in older trucks and face much more dangerous conditions in high rises, etc.
Lets face it I mean I think a firefighter in Harlem faces much more dangerous conditions and has buildings that are much higher and would need the special equipment. Perhaps the volunteers should use the older leftover trucks and sell the new stuff to the FDNY who have more of a need for it.
Also, I think the best way to solve the NCPD is to abolish it. Every village can have their own department and can pay their officers as they see fit. This way the people can get just what they pay for with the wealthier neighborhoods attracting the best talent. I wonder what the Uniondale PD would attract, LOL.....
John

Stamford, CT

#9 May 29, 2009
It is time to change the leadership in both the State Senate and State Assembly. Let's take it back from New York City Democrats
melted cheese

Brooklyn, NY

#10 May 29, 2009
oh boy, here we go.

the firefighters will argue they are the most important bunch in the world, while their detractors will argue they waste millions of taxpayer dollars with ridiculously overpriced firehouses and unnecessary equipment, and a huge sense of entitlemnt

the truth is somewhere in the middle

but we the public need much more info to make an intelligent assessment of this situation.
It about tax savings

Hicksville, NY

#11 May 29, 2009
Stop the too many trucks and too many firehouses Newsday party line. The fact is the studies they will not tell you about show that the free volunteer workforce trumps it all and we end up the lower taxes because we have a volunteer force. If you consolidate fire districts you will wind up with a paid force paid on a scale with county police and your taxes will increase.

Sell the fire trucks and sell off the fire houses if you like, but after initial savings the cost will go through the roof when we have to pay for a paid force of firefighters.

Salaries, benefits, pensions ...

If this bill is about saving taxes the entities that save us tax dollars should be exempted.

Exempt the fire districts and focus on the governments that are driving our taxes up like counties, school districts, and the State of New York.
melted cheese

Brooklyn, NY

#12 May 29, 2009
golflet wrote:
your article on the consolidation of fire districts sparked my interest. I was a volunteer firefighter for 25 years and recently relocated to Florida. As a retiree, I have observed how a paid department in Florida operates and I can tell you that some of the arguments being made about not consolidating districts are bogus. Departments down here operate with a ambulance and a single pumper at most of their substations. While on Long Island the amount of equipment that each department has is out of control. Multiple Rescue trucks in one district is common place while down here, they are strategically placed. There is no question in my mind that a consolidation of districts would save an awful lot of money. I know that the amount of political pressure on elected officals will be difficult to take, but these officals need to do the right thing and not succumb to pressure. In the long run, this is the right thing to do. The amount of excessive spending by these fire districts should be considered criminal - no one has the guts to say "no".
Thank you Newsday for exposing this. I know that firemen will say that this will cause a change in attitude among the members, but I sincerely believe that this can be overcome. Good Luck with your fight.
You are a brilliant man.

Everyone should re-read your post, and we the public need someone like you advocating for the rest of us!
It about tax savings

Hicksville, NY

#13 May 29, 2009
melted cheese wrote:
oh boy, here we go.
the firefighters will argue they are the most important bunch in the world, while their detractors will argue they waste millions of taxpayer dollars with ridiculously overpriced firehouses and unnecessary equipment, and a huge sense of entitlemnt
the truth is somewhere in the middle
but we the public need much more info to make an intelligent assessment of this situation.
The problem with this legislation is that it is set up to make the public vote on consolidation or dissolution without giving you the facts. No studies, no hearings, just go directly to the polls and vote. And that is not just a fire district issue.

By the way, the comment about schools exempted because there is already a procedure to exempt them created in the 1930,s is garbage. There is currently a procedure to consolidate or dissolve a fire district. If this was truly about creating an easier procedure to apply to all governments schools would be in it too.

Wake up Long Island and stop knocking your firefighters. They are the ones standing up for you in all this.
liner

Bronx, NY

#14 May 29, 2009
poconoweeze wrote:
old enough to remember mario the dad and matilda the mom who her family was tied to organized crime when he was gov. does that shake anyone up???????
No, it doesn't. It just tells us you're old, that's all.
LIer

East Hampton, NY

#15 May 29, 2009
Countywide is too centralized (ex. look at how "efficient" the county police departments are - not very).

We need to go to township level fire departments and police departments.
Stan

Scarsdale, NY

#16 May 29, 2009
While we are at it wrote:
<quoted text>
YES! And while we're at it, why does a VOLUNTEER fire department on Long Island need several brand new state of the art fire trucks while FDNY members drive around in older trucks and face much more dangerous conditions in high rises, etc.
Lets face it I mean I think a firefighter in Harlem faces much more dangerous conditions and has buildings that are much higher and would need the special equipment. Perhaps the volunteers should use the older leftover trucks and sell the new stuff to the FDNY who have more of a need for it.
Also, I think the best way to solve the NCPD is to abolish it. Every village can have their own department and can pay their officers as they see fit. This way the people can get just what they pay for with the wealthier neighborhoods attracting the best talent. I wonder what the Uniondale PD would attract, LOL.....
First of all, fire is dangerous no matter where you are. High rise buildings add to the danger, whether they be in NYC or on Long Island (and we have high rise buildings on LI). Secondly, if you have been paying attention, the City of NY wants to close fire houses in certain neighborhoods because the City can't afford to keep paying the salaries and benefits of the union firefighters. The volunteer system on LI, for the most part, works just fine. For the most part we provide better service with better equipment for less money. Keep in mind we aren't paying salaries and benefits to the vollies. Fire taxes (with the exception of Gordon Heights) are low in comparison to other government entities - especially school districts.
The working, tax paying public deserves a break, but they should also be careful where the break comes from. The fire unions have been trying for years to turn Nassau and Suffolk into paid fire departments so that they can increase their membership and dues base. The unions don't have the taxpayer's best interest at heart - they have the union's best interest at heart and that can be very bad for your pocket book.
Outrage

New York, NY

#17 May 29, 2009
melted cheese wrote:
oh boy, here we go.
the firefighters will argue they are the most important bunch in the world, while their detractors will argue they waste millions of taxpayer dollars with ridiculously overpriced firehouses and unnecessary equipment, and a huge sense of entitlemnt
the truth is somewhere in the middle
but we the public need much more info to make an intelligent assessment of this situation.
It is the latter that is the truth.
Stan

Scarsdale, NY

#18 May 29, 2009
While we are at it wrote:
<quoted text>
YES! And while we're at it, why does a VOLUNTEER fire department on Long Island need several brand new state of the art fire trucks while FDNY members drive around in older trucks and face much more dangerous conditions in high rises, etc.
Lets face it I mean I think a firefighter in Harlem faces much more dangerous conditions and has buildings that are much higher and would need the special equipment. Perhaps the volunteers should use the older leftover trucks and sell the new stuff to the FDNY who have more of a need for it.
Also, I think the best way to solve the NCPD is to abolish it. Every village can have their own department and can pay their officers as they see fit. This way the people can get just what they pay for with the wealthier neighborhoods attracting the best talent. I wonder what the Uniondale PD would attract, LOL.....
You really aren't very bright. You propose having Long Island taxpayers send their fire equipment to NYC while we take the crap NYC provides?
It about tax savings

Hicksville, NY

#19 May 29, 2009
Great thought from Florida but this is Long Island where county and state officials fall over themselves to sell us out to police and teacher unions. We will not have $30,000 or $40,000 per year firefighters required to contribute to the health insurance premiums. We will have $100,000 firefighter with full benefits that will soon make us forget what was spent on fire trucks.

Those salaries and benefits are the gifts that keep giving. The truck you buy once every 20 years.

Don't knock the guys and girls who do it for free and do not think they will keep doing it if you take their firehouses and trucks and tell them to take orders from the county or town.
Stan

Scarsdale, NY

#20 May 29, 2009
golflet wrote:
your article on the consolidation of fire districts sparked my interest. I was a volunteer firefighter for 25 years and recently relocated to Florida. As a retiree, I have observed how a paid department in Florida operates and I can tell you that some of the arguments being made about not consolidating districts are bogus. Departments down here operate with a ambulance and a single pumper at most of their substations. While on Long Island the amount of equipment that each department has is out of control. Multiple Rescue trucks in one district is common place while down here, they are strategically placed. There is no question in my mind that a consolidation of districts would save an awful lot of money. I know that the amount of political pressure on elected officals will be difficult to take, but these officals need to do the right thing and not succumb to pressure. In the long run, this is the right thing to do. The amount of excessive spending by these fire districts should be considered criminal - no one has the guts to say "no".
Thank you Newsday for exposing this. I know that firemen will say that this will cause a change in attitude among the members, but I sincerely believe that this can be overcome. Good Luck with your fight.
Which districts have more than one heavy rescue truck? How populated is your part of Florida as compared to Long Island? How many major roads as compared to LI? How much are your fire taxes and what is the ISO rating for your neighborhood? If you were a FF then you know that the ISO sets standards for firefighting equipment based on things like population and construction. The better a fire district's ISO score, the lower your fire insurance premiums are. My point is that you are comparing apples and oranges. Don't compare Florida with Long Island....the situations are not quite the same.

ISO, for those who are wondering, is the Insurance Service Organization. They rate fire protection in fire districts and their score has a direct impact on how much insurance companies charge you for fire insurance. Many departments on LI opt to comply with the ISO standards (better and more equipment), saving homeowners and business owners money on their insurance premiums.

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