Tight squeeze for Ky. fire department

Feb 6, 2008 Full story: The Cincinnati Enquirer 717

From a recent post: Southgate, a small Campbell County city nestled between Wilder, Newport and Fort Thomas, desperately needs a fire station. via The Cincinnati Enquirer

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OH NO THEY DIDNT

Georgetown, IN

#1 Feb 6, 2008
The only thing Southgate Fire Department needs to do is DISBAND. Newport or Ft. Thomas need to look into taking over the Volly Pollies of Southgate. The citizens have been lied to way too much. I live here and I am very familiar with local Governments. Southgate stated if someone else was to take over the response time would double. That is the most untrue statement ever. If another Department was to take over they have a full time staff available to leave the Fire House right away. Southgate has to wait on the minimum personel before leaving. Yet what the citizens of Southgate are not aware of and the vollies will never tell you is your Squad comes from Wilder anyway four days a week. And those response times are bogus. They have one man go in a personel vehicle to call on scene while they are still at the Fire House loading a group of non trianed firemen up to respond to your emergency. So VOTERS of Southgate remember to keep this in mind when they try to throw this on the ballot again. And remember you Council is very weak. Look into findind a strong Councilman Or Woman to take control of this LARGE LIE the fire department is giving you. If you want to pay for a storage facility for Newport or Ft. Thomas then go ahead throw your money at it. I'm not and I stand firmly with Senator Bunning, SAY ABSOLUTELY NO TO SOUTHGATE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Amen

Charlestown, IN

#2 Feb 6, 2008
Our Council is purely one of the weakest around. They make decisions by friendships not for the good of our community. I have never witnessed a good decision by these Councilmen. Chris Robisch is like the wind he'll go which ever way you blow him. Blanchet has a son on the fire department, Beartsch has no opinion as long as he has a beer, and virgil Miler does he ever speak? Then you have pothead Spiers, he loses a brain cell every minute. Then you have the Mayor, dear friend of mine. But he has the opinion of his wife. I wish he could step up and be a man, make that educated decision I know he can. He knows the metalbuilding they are going to slap up willbe an eyesore and a waste of our money. Please next time you see one of these fine upstanding Council members let your voice be heard. No to this Contraption. remember this will be with you for years to come. God Bless!
Get Over It

Newport, KY

#3 Feb 6, 2008
Maybe all should get all of the facts before making comments like this. I happen to know that you have made some inaccurate statements. Go ahead and have Newport or Ft. Thomas come in and watch your taxes SKYROCKET! I guarantee they are not going to do it for Southgate citizens for cheaper than their own..... Get the facts before you make an idiot of yourself!!!!!
Just passing through

Covington, KY

#4 Feb 6, 2008
I for one would be happy if a volunteer didn't run me off the road again on his way to a "fire". When I hear those sirens, I cringe. Does anyone even use sirens anymore? Or is it just difficult to break with tradition? Those were great in the horse and buggy days. The first time I heard them,I thought they were tornado sirens! Maybe they're still in place to tell you, "Get out of the way, you're about to get run off the road!"
Anon

Cincinnati, OH

#5 Feb 6, 2008
Get Over It wrote:
Maybe all should get all of the facts before making comments like this. I happen to know that you have made some inaccurate statements. Go ahead and have Newport or Ft. Thomas come in and watch your taxes SKYROCKET! I guarantee they are not going to do it for Southgate citizens for cheaper than their own..... Get the facts before you make an idiot of yourself!!!!!
Would you rather pay a little more in taxes or have your house burn to the ground because not enough volunteers showed up for the run?
Run Down

Cincinnati, OH

#6 Feb 6, 2008
Let's get back to Get Over it's comments. I believe he or she stated let's get the facts straight. the fact that over half of the Fire Department is under the age of 18, no better yet 16. And of the ones that are over 18 I believe there are only about 20 active members that are around the Fire Department on a regular basis. So facts let me give you facts. The Chief and of course the rest of the 5 members that call themselves administration came up with a lame way to get this Fire Department built. Lets say like buy another truck we can't afford so our Council is force to look into the floor of our Department. When was the last time Southgate has had a fire that demanded another fire truck? It is nothing but a status symbol to have a new Fire House. People like Newport, Central Campbell and Alexandria need new Fire Departments because one they have runs. You don't see Ft. Thomas asking for a new 2.3 million dollar facility. I do believe they would deserve it. By the way when they respond you know you're getting a top notch Department. When Southgate gets a run they respond with a group of wanna be's and nobodies. You show me one Fireman at that station that responds on a regular basis that can really call themselves a FIREMAN. If we are going to get the facts out there put them all out there not the ones that benefit the turds that call themselves a Fire Department. Please don't stand up and say, Maybe all should get all of the facts before making comments like this. First of all the sentence didn't make sense and second put up all the facts or shut up. Newport has Medics that respond, Ft. Thomas has Medics that respond, so if you as a tax payer wants a FIREMAN to show up with training from Crackjacks then vote to build that storage shed. I'm sure Newport, or Ft. Thomas will be able to store something in it. And about your taxes skyrocketing. I believe if you had the choice to go to St Elizabeth or an Urgent Care and pay the same amount, that's about the same as having Newport or Ft. Thomas respond compared to The Vollies of the The Southgate Volunteer Fire Department. So let your tax dollars blow in the wind and vote for this Storage facility. Hey that's an idea. When Southgate is ate up by a real Department then Mayor Hamberg and her husband can turn it into a storge rental. I have some excess garabage I can store there. So! Get Over It, Let's hear the real truth and all of it. Not bits and pieces. Please enlighten us, WE'RE WAITING!
Run Down

Cincinnati, OH

#7 Feb 6, 2008
By the way, Beverly Hills is way in the past, all I ever hear is Southgate had the most deadliest fire in Kentucky History. Maybe if Newport of Ft. thomas would of sucked them up then, it would go down in history as twenty five dead, not the many who perished on that hill top. Please if you're going to get on here bring good info not the garabage you have so far GET OVER IT. By the way I meant the three departments Newport, Central Campbell and Alexandria needed their new houses. See even I can admit I made a mistake. Now John Beatch and Southgate City Council think about the one you're about to make.
JUST DO WHATS RIGHT

Cincinnati, OH

#8 Feb 6, 2008
HEY COUNSELMEN WHY NOT USE THAT MONEY FOR A GOOD PURPOSE. PAY OUR CURRENT EMPLOYEES BETTER AND MAYBE THEY WILL STAY AROUND. QUIT BEING KNOWN AS A TRAINING GROUND. PAY UP OR TURN THE CITY OVER TO SOMEONE WHO CAN APPRECIATE WHAT THEY DO FOR US.
Run Down Jr

Mason, OH

#9 Feb 6, 2008
Wow Run Down, you make some good points and then you also make points where you are way off base. First of all I am a career firefighter with the City of Newport. I have also been a volunteer firefighter in Southgate. When I joined the Southgate Volunteer Fire Department in 1981 we were the best in the state. Simon W. Jewell who was the Chief at the time was very well respected around the state because he would lobby in Frankfort on behalf of Career and Volunteer Departments. Over the years since then, Southgate has gone through a big transition. Volunteers being hard to find because of newer time constraints on families started losing the base of the department. They then hired part timers to staff the ambulance in the daytime. The volunteers would staff it at night. Next thing you know someone comes up with the idea to merge EMS services with Wilder. That should have never happened and still pisses me off today that the previous Mayor and current fire chief let this happen. You can't staff an ambulance, then you want to build a new firehouse. What a disservice to the taxpayers of Southgate to have the ambulance somewhere else other than Southgate. This firehouse, if it does get built, is being built on on false pretenses. It is time for Southgate Volunteer Department to disband and let Newport and Fort Thomas split the two areas of Southgate and move on with life and no more taxes. I am sorry to thse of you in Southgate Volunteer Fire Department who I am pissing off about my comments. I was a proud volunteer and I will never forget my roots but the time has come and face reality and move on.
My last comment is for the idiot that said my brother Dan Speier was a pothead. These blogs are created for cowards like you who don't have the guts to admit who you are. My suggestion to you is to shut your mouth before you get a defamation of character charge against you.

Thank You Joe Speier
I guess the work

Covington, KY

#10 Feb 6, 2008
day is over. There are no more comments.
JUST DO WHATS RIGHT

Cincinnati, OH

#11 Feb 6, 2008
Joe I hope you don't have a fire at your house anytime soon. Them Vollies will take their time getting to your house. Oh! never mind they'll get there in the knick of time to save your basement. About the decision to merge the squad, I believe Hamberg and Beatsch have 1 nut between the 2 of them, and his name is Chris "THE WIND" Robisch.
NKY Firefighter

Lexington, KY

#12 Feb 6, 2008
Look back at Beverly Hills Fire. Newport, Ft. Thomas, Cold Springs, Highland Heights, Wilder, and several other departments were there. People didn't die from firemen not doing there jobs, they died because fire exits were blocked so they got trapped in the building. If Southgate didn't exist the response time would have been longer and more may be dead. So burn in hell for your comments about Beverly Hill Supper Club Fire and Southgate Fire Dept.
Run Down wrote:
By the way, Beverly Hills is way in the past, all I ever hear is Southgate had the most deadliest fire in Kentucky History. Maybe if Newport of Ft. thomas would of sucked them up then, it would go down in history as twenty five dead, not the many who perished on that hill top. Please if you're going to get on here bring good info not the garabage you have so far GET OVER IT. By the way I meant the three departments Newport, Central Campbell and Alexandria needed their new houses. See even I can admit I made a mistake. Now John Beatch and Southgate City Council think about the one you're about to make.
NKY Firefighter

Lexington, KY

#13 Feb 6, 2008
Southgate is the best fire departments in Campbell County. Without Southgate Fire Dept. other cities would suffer along with Southgate. Southgate frequently responds to Newport, and Ft. Thomas to assist them with fires. Run Down Jr. needs to look at what all Southgate fire dept. does for the city. Without Southgate life squad, citizens of Southgate would have to rely on the busy Newport and Ft. Thomas ambulances. And alos, Southgate does need to fire trucks. They had both the engines out the door in 4 minutes the other night for a call. Southgate needs a new firehouse ASAP so the old one doesn't collapse.
NKY Firefighter

Lexington, KY

#14 Feb 6, 2008
I hear now that Joe Speier doesn't even run for Southgate anymore. Who disses their former department that helps out Newport weekly?
Someone else

Lexington, KY

#15 Feb 6, 2008
When Ft. Thomas and Newport make house fires, why would they call Southgate then if there just no good vollies? And When Ft. Thomas and Newport respond on calls, they get enroute somewhere between what 2 and 3 minutes? Ok... Southgate is enroute between 3 and 5. But when you are able to bring 10 people on one truck, not 2 people on each truck spread outover a 10 minute period, that are trained, and many to at least the same level the people who are career firefighter. You all say that they need to give the city to fort thomas and newport, but did anyone mention there are many active members on southgate that are career firefighter at Newport, Ft. Thomas and Wilder? Then you can look at people who get hired at other cities as career firefighters, alot seem to still come from southgate. So when you say they are just no good vollies, are you talking about your own in the same way? Because they are on most of the runs. If you can say they were not useful and did a good job on almost every fire scene they have been on, then thats fine, but you cant.
SGFD Newcomer

Lexington, KY

#16 Feb 6, 2008
I can see the points of the people who think Southgate Fire Department is ineffective. From personal experience however, which could be considered "fact" as many of you have called it, I can tell you differently.
(By the way, if you had the nerve to call volunteer firefighters "vollie tollies", you can be entitled to your opinion but I along with many others wish that you could voice your opinion respectively and not say things things that have the sole purpose of demeaning the Men and Women across the area who give of themselves every day and night and ask nothing in return. Not to mention every department in Campbell County with the exception of two or three have active Volunteer members. So good job slick, your "creative" comment is probably radiating through every volunteer firefighter who reads this like a bolt of lightning, not just Southgate. Way to go.)
I just recently started running as a Volunteer EMT-Basic on Southgate's rotating nightly squad crew. I live out of the area, so every eighth night I spend the night at the department in case there is a run. Not too long ago, my night to came to pass and I was the only one at the station, since everyone else lives close enough to run from their house.
The alarm when off for a squad and engine company in the middle of the night. I woke up and began to get dressed. It probably took me about 3-4 minutes to get ready and get downstairs to the squad. As I make my way to the squad, and engine company of 6 OR MORE were pulling out of the station, and only 2-3 minutes later, another engine of 6 OR MORE (yes, Southgate rolls their second engine, which is why they have it) was in route with the squad crew of three. Everyone, with the exception of myself, came from their homes. For those who are worried about poor response times and member turnout, it appears you are better off than you thought. You can look at what you think are facts all day, but this is reality. The city of Southgate gets more "cluck for their buck" because their Volunteers are well trained and they are dedicated, and they don't need a paycheck to be so. Every Fire Dept. works together in this area on almost all fires, so those worrying about people being out of town as the reason the city is not protected needs to understand that all fire depts. help each other and respond to each other's calls constantly. Citizens of Campbell County do not need to be taking resources away from themselves. Southgate Fire Dept. has its place in the bigger picture, just as all the other departments. When you begin to see the bigger picture, you begin to see that keeping Southgate Fire Department makes more than just sense, it makes a serious difference in the lives of the people of Southgate and its neighboring cities every day.
Not Involved

Charlestown, IN

#17 Feb 7, 2008
as an outsider looking in, I think u are cutting your own throats, by running your mouths about the Newport fire department, U folks in southgate are burning a bridge, and probably wont get called into as many Newport fires anymore, the only place U vollies get real fire experience. And No I am not a fireman, I just thought I would give U A heads Up. So Think about it before U blog without thinking about the end result.
Get Over YOURSELVES

Covington, KY

#18 Feb 7, 2008
Why don't you all get off this hero-worship complex that firemen seem to have. Since 9-11, you've all been so damn full of yourselves, that you've forgotten what you're really here for. Renaming fire departments to look/sound like FDNY...You don't "fight" a fire anymore, you "put it down", like it's some kind of damn human adversary...Christ, no fireman even dares to go out in public without wearing a shirt that says, "Hey! Look at me! I'm a Fireman!" And then there are the ignorant window stickers! "Firemen walk where the Devil dances." (Hmmm...awe inspiring, no?) Oh yeah, and then there was one that said, "Women love me - Flames fear me" How gay is that? I about wet my pants laughing when I saw that one! And of course, there are the ever-present "We won't forget our fallen brothers" stickers. As though any of you even so much as bumped into a New York City Fireman! I'm sure the folks at FDNY are truly touched.
You're supposed to take care of people; they're not supposed to take care of you by stroking your enormous egos. You can't even show any respect for your "Brother" firefighters because they're volunteers, but you demand so much more respect just because you get PAID to sit around and wait for something to happen? For once, sit back and think about what you're really here for...
Just Passing Through

Covington, KY

#19 Feb 7, 2008
Amen wrote:
Our Council is purely one of the weakest around. They make decisions by friendships not for the good of our community. I have never witnessed a good decision by these Councilmen. Chris Robisch is like the wind he'll go which ever way you blow him. Blanchet has a son on the fire department, Beartsch has no opinion as long as he has a beer, and virgil Miler does he ever speak? Then you have pothead Spiers, he loses a brain cell every minute. Then you have the Mayor, dear friend of mine. But he has the opinion of his wife. I wish he could step up and be a man, make that educated decision I know he can. He knows the metalbuilding they are going to slap up willbe an eyesore and a waste of our money. Please next time you see one of these fine upstanding Council members let your voice be heard. No to this Contraption. remember this will be with you for years to come. God Bless!
Amen: How can you call the Mayor your "Dear Friend" and question his right call himself a man in the same sentence? For shame...
The real question

Florence, KY

#20 Feb 7, 2008
Everyone seems to forget the real question. Who cares if you are paid or volunteer I was a volunteer and now am paid. BIG DEAL. The real question is does Southgate need a 2 million dollar fire house? The real answer is NO, they can do just as well without it. I think while the conversation has gotten off track with worring if aomeone fets a pay check or not the important question was forgotten. As a tax payer in southgate not a member of the department I voted no once and will everytime, don't expect me to pay for a firehouse that the majority of the members of the svfd live out of the city and don't have to pay for, when a fire house can be built for much less and can work just as well. I guess maybe two block parties a year.

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