Ashburnham selectmen, chiefs discuss firefighters, EMTs emergency response time - Sentinel & Ente...

Full story: Sentinel & Enterprise

The town administrator and the fire and police chiefs proposed changes to the emergency response protocol at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Monday.

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JIm

Fitchburg, MA

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#1
Dec 7, 2010
 
These departments, and others in neighboring communities have lost their sense of doing something for the community.

Show me the money is all they care about today, and you can expect more of the same until they get full time, paid , benefited employees
disgusted

Gardner, MA

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#2
Dec 7, 2010
 
This town is a total loser has been so and always will be.
Is The Witch Hunt Over

Brookline, MA

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#3
Dec 7, 2010
 
"I was a firefighter," said Selectman Maggie Whitney, who said the Fire Department is becoming money driven. "I didn't need a stipend, I answered the calls."

I remember back in the day I used to walk to school 10 miles barefoot with 6 ft. on snow on the ground in -30F temperatures in 50mph winds. And yes, I did walk home for lunch.
man oh man

Cambridge, MA

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#4
Dec 7, 2010
 
Selectman Whitney doesn't understand. Things change. She quit the fire department instead of fixing what she thought was wrong with it. She quit being a Selectman her first time around because she couldn't handle it. She's a quitter now she thinks she's a fixer!
Check with the firefighters and EMTs what their opinions are. I did. They can't be late for their regular jobs anymore like in the past. Bosses make it difficult. Things change. This situation is not unique to Ashburnham, its just certain people make a HUGE deal over it because they dislike the Chief.
Fire Marshall Jim

AOL

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#5
Dec 7, 2010
 
JIm wrote:
These departments, and others in neighboring communities have lost their sense of doing something for the community.
Show me the money is all they care about today, and you can expect more of the same until they get full time, paid , benefited employees
Jim, are you a volunteer firefighter in your town?
Or do you do your job for no compensation?
Do you leave your bed in the middle of the night to serve your neighbors?
Its real easy to sit on your couch and expect others to take care of you. Man up pumpkin.
Poppycock

Worcester, MA

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#6
Dec 7, 2010
 
JIm wrote:
These departments, and others in neighboring communities have lost their sense of doing something for the community.
Show me the money is all they care about today, and you can expect more of the same until they get full time, paid , benefited employees
I had the same thought as Fire Marshall. These folks enjoy their jobs. Enjoy serving their communities. However, additional time away from their families is a lot to ask when they open themselves up to personal and professional liabilities, gas is $3 a gallon, additional wear and tear on your vehicle takes place, you have to put out the money for personal supplies (most EMTs have a personal jump kit that often runs a couple hundred dollars), and you have to attend an EMT class 2-4 nights per week for several weeks, pay $150 a year to recertify, and pay money to take the the initial certification exam, as well as pay for your continuing education hours without reimbursement in many situations.

Perhaps, Jim, you should think about things a bit more before you spout off like you do. Research the matter a bit more. Ashburnham is always short on staff. Yet you complain about it, while doing nothing to help out your community. A couple weeks ago you said that Leominster should revert to an on-call system, yet you see that an on-call system is not all that you think it is either, is it?
ANGRY

Gardner, MA

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#7
Dec 7, 2010
 
hey just dont get involved very simple. forget the idea of money.
This is the most greedy town i have ever seen.
The fire dept is the very worst we would be better off With no fire dept.
Love the hope your house doesnt cath fire theme.
But the one about people bieng uncooperative is the best.
Other fire depts in this part of the state agree with me.
Agent J

AOL

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#8
Dec 7, 2010
 
ANGRY wrote:
hey just dont get involved very simple. forget the idea of money.
This is the most greedy town i have ever seen.
The fire dept is the very worst we would be better off With no fire dept.
Love the hope your house doesnt cath fire theme.
But the one about people bieng uncooperative is the best.
Other fire depts in this part of the state agree with me.
Wow, stop sniffing the model glue buddy! That just made no sense at all.
DaGonz

Marlborough, MA

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#9
Dec 7, 2010
 
Those who complain the most about the FD's response should get off their duffs and go fill out an application to become a member at Fire Headquarters, then they should make the commitment to become an EMT and/or paramedic.

If one is willing to do this or make a commitment, then pay those who do.
DaGonz

Marlborough, MA

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#10
Dec 7, 2010
 
The last line should have read
"If one NOT is willing to do this or make a commitment, then pay those who do."
Martin

North Billerica, MA

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#11
Dec 7, 2010
 
Since many of the emergency responces are already done by private ambulance companys in the area, why don't we just bring one of them to town to run our ambulance service? We should ask for bids for a private ambulance service to establish a base at our emergency complex to provide 24 hour ambulance service to the town. This would allow the fire department to go back to fighting fires. It would eliminate the need to hire anymore public employes in the fire department. It would eliminate the need to purchase any more ambulance vehicles or equipment for the town. It would just make good sense in these tough financial times.
Other cities and towns have brought in private ambulance services and are pleased with the results.
It is time for ashburnham to take a bold step to secure our need for dependable emergency ambulance service, while helping to reduce our financial burden.
Here WE Go Again

Gardner, MA

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#12
Dec 7, 2010
 
Martin you might be the only person to post a comment that makes sense!
The Insider

East Sandwich, MA

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#13
Dec 7, 2010
 
Martin wrote:
Since many of the emergency responces are already done by private ambulance companys in the area, why don't we just bring one of them to town to run our ambulance service? We should ask for bids for a private ambulance service to establish a base at our emergency complex to provide 24 hour ambulance service to the town. This would allow the fire department to go back to fighting fires. It would eliminate the need to hire anymore public employes in the fire department. It would eliminate the need to purchase any more ambulance vehicles or equipment for the town. It would just make good sense in these tough financial times.
Other cities and towns have brought in private ambulance services and are pleased with the results.
It is time for ashburnham to take a bold step to secure our need for dependable emergency ambulance service, while helping to reduce our financial burden.
A private ambulance company would not make enough money. A year in Ashburnham is the same as a night in Fitchburg. Paramedics are making $20 plus per hour now and the company has to pay for their health insurance and workman's comp expenses. The ambulance company will have to set up shop that will cost $200-300K. Then there are the usual expenses, insurance, bonded, liability and so on. Bids? Ashburnham will have to pay the company to stay. A private ambulance company has to do at least 5 calls a day to break even.
Is The Witch Hunt Over

Brookline, MA

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#14
Dec 8, 2010
 
Martin wrote:
Since many of the emergency responces are already done by private ambulance companys in the area, why don't we just bring one of them to town to run our ambulance service? We should ask for bids for a private ambulance service to establish a base at our emergency complex to provide 24 hour ambulance service to the town. This would allow the fire department to go back to fighting fires. It would eliminate the need to hire anymore public employes in the fire department. It would eliminate the need to purchase any more ambulance vehicles or equipment for the town. It would just make good sense in these tough financial times.
Other cities and towns have brought in private ambulance services and are pleased with the results.
It is time for ashburnham to take a bold step to secure our need for dependable emergency ambulance service, while helping to reduce our financial burden.
We have done many studies on the merit of using an outside contractor to provide EMS to Ashburnham. The end result was always the same. Costs more and response time is longer. Besides, the town's people have agreed that this was a service that they were willing to fund and have continued to do so. Every few years this all comes up and it decided to do another study. Enough with the studies.
Poppycock

United States

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#15
Dec 8, 2010
 
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
A private ambulance company would not make enough money. A year in Ashburnham is the same as a night in Fitchburg. Paramedics are making $20 plus per hour now and the company has to pay for their health insurance and workman's comp expenses. The ambulance company will have to set up shop that will cost $200-300K. Then there are the usual expenses, insurance, bonded, liability and so on. Bids? Ashburnham will have to pay the company to stay. A private ambulance company has to do at least 5 calls a day to break even.
So how much does it cost to have a town-employed firefighter/Paramedic sit in the station covering only the day shift to answer the calls?

How many calls a day does it cost that same town-employed firefighter/Paramedic to run before the town breaks even?

Considering that the fire department's web site reports 600-800 calls per year, at the very most there are 2.19 calls per day. Apparently the town is not breaking even either. Nor are those very same town-employed firefighter/Paramedics coming anywhere near the skills requirements necessary to remain proficient in their skills and critical decision making.

Just another point of view there. Nothing against firefighter/Paramedics, but every freaking town does not need to have their own Paramedics.
Is The Witch Hunt Over

Brookline, MA

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#16
Dec 8, 2010
 
Poppycock wrote:
<quoted text>
So how much does it cost to have a town-employed firefighter/Paramedic sit in the station covering only the day shift to answer the calls?
How many calls a day does it cost that same town-employed firefighter/Paramedic to run before the town breaks even?
Considering that the fire department's web site reports 600-800 calls per year, at the very most there are 2.19 calls per day. Apparently the town is not breaking even either. Nor are those very same town-employed firefighter/Paramedics coming anywhere near the skills requirements necessary to remain proficient in their skills and critical decision making.
Just another point of view there. Nothing against firefighter/Paramedics, but every freaking town does not need to have their own Paramedics.
I think there is a big misconception when it comes down to funding certain departments in this town (or any town for that matter). Does the Police or DPW revenue that they bring in offset the costs of what it takes to run these departments? Certain departments provide services where they do not generate a profit or their costs are not offset by the revenue. Why is it always the FD that everyone goes after and not these other entities? This is a service to this town, a service I am happy to pay for along with the PD and DPW. Most of the full time FD staff are both paramedics or EMTS and firefighters and therefore there is cross coverage. That being the case doesn't it make sense if we are paying someone already as a firefighter that we get the added benefit of emergency medical personnel? Have you ever had been pulled out of your house on a stretcher? I have, and I do not want to wait for someone to come over from Gardner to come and get me especially in a life or death situation. There is no doubt that if we did not have ALS some folks would not have made it. I see paying for these types of services are along the lines of having insurance. I do not mind paying higher taxes for this service, in fact, I am glad to. I
concerned

Gardner, MA

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#17
Dec 8, 2010
 
Get rid of the fire dept they are uiseless.
concerned

Gardner, MA

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#18
Dec 8, 2010
 
The taxes are way to high as it is.
man oh man

Cambridge, MA

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#19
Dec 8, 2010
 
concerned wrote:
Get rid of the fire dept they are uiseless.
What makes you think the fire dept is useless?
Alison

Leominster, MA

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#20
Dec 8, 2010
 
concerned wrote:
Get rid of the fire dept they are uiseless.
Wow you have no idea how important any fire dept is to any town no matter the size. A 3 to 5 min response is way better than an 8 to 12 min response when some one is in cardiac distress or if your kitchen is on fire. You have no clue if you think you can do better than join a fire dept. Yes I am a Volunteer firefighter, and a paid EMT at times. In a very small Connecticut Community. It use to be all volunteer but we were having way too many mutual aid calls at all times of the day and night. So now there are three shifts for EMTs they are 6am to 4pm for $40.00 day @2.00 for each transported call, 4pm to 8pm for $30.00 per shift $20.00 for transported calls, 8pm to 6am for $25.00 per shift and $20.00 per transported calls. Once that was implemented now they are lucky if they get a mutual aid call within a 3 month period.All firefighting calls are still volunteer. There was a stipulation you had to live in a 15 min response time to the station now that does not mean trucks waited depending on the call if they had a full legal crew 1 EMT and 1 MRT/driver or 2 EMTs and one had to be a n approved driver or 1 driver 2 EMTS or 1 driver , 1 EMT and 1 MRT. Now an MRT is an EMT-B and an EMT is an EMT-I. So there are ways of working things out and no there are no health insurances provided yes Workman's comp but that is provided by the town you volunteer for. Yes equipment and uniforms/clothing and education for these positions is quite costly to the individuals providing the services to help you in your time of need.

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