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Concerned Resident

Carbondale, PA

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#1
Jul 3, 2008
 

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As a concerned resident of Harpursville, I feel that the individuals in charge of the fire company are abusing their positions in the fire company. We are a small town, with a limited number of people who pay taxes. The fire company is being run by families in the community who think they own it and feel that they can take all of the tax paying dollars from the individuals in the commmunity, and buy fire trucks (as well as other unnecessary equipment). This, I feel, is very unessential, due to all of the fire trucks and fire equipment that we don't need. We have enough fire trucks and fire equipment in this small town to cover four small towns, and even a small city if needed. The abuse the fire station with their own personal needs and they also use some of the fire vehicles for their own personal use. As a resident i feel that this is wrong and unnecessary. I personally believe that the firemen should be elected into their positions, instead of just being handed their jobs due to family ties. That way, the residents of this community can have some control in the finances of the fire company, and bring it back to a volunteer fire company, and not a family owned one.
former Afton resident

Astoria, NY

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#2
Jul 3, 2008
 

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I always did find it odd that Harpursville had such a large fire house with so many vehicles. It does seem a little over the top for a town of that size. I'm in NYC now and there is not one fire house I've seen to come close to the size of Harpursville's.
As far as who serves, anyone can volunteer. I don't take anything away from the brave men and women who do serve free of salary.
It does become a bit of a club, but hey, join the club if you'd like to give your time fighting fires and saving lives and property.

Since: Nov 07

Kingsley, PA

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#3
Jul 7, 2008
 

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Let's see... Why don't you ask the people who have had their homes and businesses saved by well-trained firefighters with up-to-date equipment? Maybe you think they should still be answering fire calls with the 1939 engine, because that might save you some money?

Times change - and those changes included the regulations that took the 1964 Mack pumper-tanker out of service. That's the fed, not a local choice.

I only recently volunteered to risk my life and health to become a volunteer firefighter in Harpursville.

It is easy to talk, easy to think that the money is wasted... but the first time I carried hose at a fire and the property owner thanked me for my service, I understood that the lives and property of the citizens of Harpursville and the surrounding communities with which we share mutual aid are better off for all this equipment and the highly-trained people who answer the call.

Since: Nov 07

Kingsley, PA

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#4
Jul 7, 2008
 

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former Afton resident wrote:
I always did find it odd that Harpursville had such a large fire house with so many vehicles. It does seem a little over the top for a town of that size. I'm in NYC now and there is not one fire house I've seen to come close to the size of Harpursville's.
As a new volunteer in Harpursville, I can respond to your point...

First, Brooklyn is essentially a city. There are many strategically placed firehouses, so in the event of need many different companies can be called in...

Further, there's no brush fire season in Brooklyn. A brush fire can cover ACRES and require many pieces of equipment and numerous firefighters to keep it from destroying property or taking lives.

Harpursville's equipment does NOT sit idle - I know, I see the calls and I answer some of them.

Don't be lulled by a drive by the firehouse... Like police work, firefighting is a whole lot of waiting for the time you are REALLY needed. It is then that all the investment in time and equipment pays off.
Bluelight

Henniker, NH

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#5
Jul 10, 2008
 

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There is no family owned fire company. True there are many family members in the fire department. It is wonderful that they volunteer and risk their lives for others. Would you like an application to join?
Concerned Resident wrote:
As a concerned resident of Harpursville, I feel that the individuals in charge of the fire company are abusing their positions in the fire company. We are a small town, with a limited number of people who pay taxes. The fire company is being run by families in the community who think they own it and feel that they can take all of the tax paying dollars from the individuals in the commmunity, and buy fire trucks (as well as other unnecessary equipment). This, I feel, is very unessential, due to all of the fire trucks and fire equipment that we don't need. We have enough fire trucks and fire equipment in this small town to cover four small towns, and even a small city if needed. The abuse the fire station with their own personal needs and they also use some of the fire vehicles for their own personal use. As a resident i feel that this is wrong and unnecessary. I personally believe that the firemen should be elected into their positions, instead of just being handed their jobs due to family ties. That way, the residents of this community can have some control in the finances of the fire company, and bring it back to a volunteer fire company, and not a family owned one.
Concerned Resident - 2

Carbondale, PA

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#6
Jul 17, 2008
 

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Ive seen some of your so called firefigthers getting BEER at the bread & butter and drinking at the fire station,Ive seen some of members drop off thier personal trash late at night for garbage day,Ive seen your members wash thier own personal vehicles at the station along with other things. and now you go out and lease another fire truck people are loseing jobs and prices are so out of this world! Inetead your members do things and spend tax paying dollars like your it a party I think having a fire company in our community is a great assent.But the things that some of your members do are not what I would consider to helpful to the communtiy would you!!! you will probably make excusees for the things your members do. And for the record myself and many other have and some still do place thier lives on the line for our country in military every! I know valuable life is .

Since: Nov 07

Kingsley, PA

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#7
Jul 17, 2008
 

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Concerned Resident - 2 wrote:
Ive seen some of your so called firefighters...
Where to begin...

Shall we compare the behavior of the members of your church with the 'suggestions' they receive on Sunday? Like choosing to believe, being a firefighter is a VOLUNTARY activity - this is NOT a 'job' nor does anyone get paid, so what they do when there isn't a call in nobody's business.

I cannot speak for any other department, including yours up there in Windsor, but the rules in Harpursville are crystal clear - if you have a drink, any drink, you don't answer a call. A few weeks ago, we dedicated the new pumper-tanker, and some of us had a beer or two. There were others who did not, in case there was a call. Does this require further explaining?

The important concept to grasp here is VOLUNTEER.
These people: students, farmers, businessmen, laborers, teachers and housewives RISK THEIR LIVES to fight fires for nothing more than the satisfaction of serving the community.

As far as the new truck (again), it replaces one that was deemed unserviceable by THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, thus it CANNOT be used for firefighting anymore. How many times need we explain that there are no new taxes or any expenses incurred to the population to pay for the new vehicle. What part of that is not clear?

If you have never had to call the fire department, I am happy for you. I wish you the same for the rest of your days.
Bluelight

Henniker, NH

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#8
Jul 17, 2008
 

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Many of the VOLUNTEERS in the Harpursville Fire Department are also veterans. We have very explicit rules here, if you have a drink, you do not answer a call. If you truely have concerns about this fire company, please feel free to come to our meetings. Our business meeting is held the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 P.M.. We welcome input from the community and if you are concerned, we welcome your comments.
Bluelight

Henniker, NH

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#9
Jul 17, 2008
 

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To the concerned resident from Windsor.
When was the last time you were up all night, risking your life to help your neighbor? When was the last time you left your house at when it was zero degrees outside and the roads were slippery. When did you last stand on an icy highway trying to divert traffic? Have you ever helped a neighbor when the temperatures were 85 and you had to wear turnout gear that weighed 20 pounds? You have no idea what these VOLUNTEERS do. With the high costs of gasoline these volunteers are spending money on gas to answer alarms and attend trainings...money out of their own pockets...it costs every one of them to be a volunteer and risk their lives. Last year our members averaged over 160 hours EACH for training...that does not include the time spent answering alarms or at fundraising activities...that is equilivent to 4 weeks of normal work. Do you really think you have a legimate concern. Would you give up that amount of time for the good of the community? Applications are available if you would like to join. Just remember these members get paid nothing, zilch, notta...they do it for their neighbors.
Quint

Carbondale, PA

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#10
Jul 19, 2008
 

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It seems as though people in Harpursville (or Windsor?!?) have nothing better to do other than bash their fire department. Those that do should stop and think about what the fire department is able to do with a small budget and all the fundraising that they do in an effort to provide quality service. But no, that would make sense. I have never seen a town that is so against its volunteers. If you had any clue what was involved with being a professional volunteer firefighter, your head would spin. Lets give you a couple of the basics:#1) Intense training – NYS now requires firefighters to take a 26 week (6 months!) course titled “Firefighter I.” This is the same class that career (paid) firefighters go through. Not to mention the stream of other classes to follow.#2) Then comes the mandatory 8 hours of OSHA training that has to be done every year.#3) Annual physicals, hose testing, ladder testing, extinguisher testing, apparatus inspections, pump testing, hydrant testing, fit testing for the air pack masks, etc.#4) All the fundraisers that are done over the course of the year (pool fills, BBQ’s, raffles, etc. you get the point). By the way, how many times do you stop by at a fundraiser to help out their cause?? And yet you still have a problem with them?!? I say shut up and join if you think you can do a better job than the ones that have years of firefighting experience under their belts.
Firefighting is not merely a club or a social place to hang out. It has a purpose and, yes, there is a bond with the men and women that are firefighters that the general public may not understand. If you think you that have a strong bond with your family, think about this; would you trust your aunt or uncle to have your back when the fire is ripping over your head and the heat is so intense you can feel it under the gear that you are required to wear to go into such an environment (more like 60 pounds, by the way)? Firefighters do that everyday and night; they have more trust in their crews than you would in your whole family.
Since you seem to have a lot of spare time, use the internet to look up all the laws that all volunteer fire departments must abide by and then maybe you could hold an intelligent conversation. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulates what fire departments must have to make their department operate on a daily basis; this includes what training, equipment, apparatus, and other things are needed. There are thousands of codes that govern the fire service and as stated in previous posts, THAT is the reason that HFD recently purchased (not leased) a new pumper-tanker. Get your facts straight instead of posting misinformation.
I also want to comment on your trash and vehicle washing slander... Chances are if you see someone stop by the station and drop of garbage late at night, it is probably one of our firefighters getting home from their second shift job that happened to stop at Station II on his way home to take care of the janitorial duties (hmmmm….looks like the volunteers have to clean up too!) Personally, I also say if members want to wash their vehicles at the station, go for it! We bring our own soap and we’re not hurting anything.(Why should you care it’s not a town water supply - it’s a pounded well). With all the time they volunteered, and you think that is not ok for them to be at the station? I think that they have earned that diminutive privilege. Besides, if there are people at the station when a call comes in that gives them a better chance to help those in need – even if they spend time on the internet criticizing our every effort. As a firefighter myself, I have learned over the years that people never call us when they do something smart!!
grateful taxpayer

Amelia Court House, VA

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#11
Jul 26, 2008
 

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THANK YOU TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS out there. This country stands stronger because of YOU!!!!
Former Afton resident

Astoria, NY

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#12
Jul 26, 2008
 

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grateful taxpayer wrote:
THANK YOU TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS out there. This country stands stronger because of YOU!!!!
I can't agree more. Through volunteerism our country was born.
I think we owe a debt of gratitude to the volunteers who put their life in harms way for us. Even if they do use the Dept. garbage pick up once in a while. It seems a small price to pay.

And let's not forget that our military is all volunteer. Doing the dirty work so we don't have to. God bless 'em all.
Real firefighter

Norfolk, VA

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#13
Aug 9, 2008
 

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Since i'm only peripherally in the know about what goes on there, I have to ask, why does Harpursville need a ladder truck? For only one 3 story building in town? And as for the family owned thing, it seems as if the chief's position is certainly a family thing. And what was the deal with the truck for a buck that you took from West Colesville?

Since: Nov 07

Kingsley, PA

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#14
Aug 10, 2008
 
OK, for starters, we don't just fight fires in town... There are factories, limber mills and multi-story farms and houses all around us (including the neighboring towns).

The 'ladder' truck has a water gun attached to the ladder boom, so large areas can be wet down from above.

BTW, what is a 'real' firefighter?

Everybody here risks their collective arses for their community, not for a salary.

Everybody here is regularly trained well beyond the minimum requirement put forth by the State.

HFD are 'REAL' firefighters.
real firefighter

Norfolk, VA

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#15
Aug 10, 2008
 

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OK, for starters, we don't just fight fires in town... There are factories, limber mills and multi-story farms and houses all around us (including the neighboring towns).

The 'ladder' truck has a water gun attached to the ladder boom, so large areas can be wet down from above.

BTW, what is a 'real' firefighter?

Everybody here risks their collective arses for their community, not for a salary.

Everybody here is regularly trained well beyond the minimum requirement put forth by the State.

HFD are 'REAL' firefighters.

Well, now it makes sense. You have a large stream elevated waterpipe that you will supply with tankers. Of course. It all makes sense to me now! No worries about running out of water there. Hand lines, who needs them anyhow. They are so over rated.

You sure are defensive about real firefighters though, aren't you? What is the minimum standard there? Essentials of Firefighting, with no testing or grades, just show up?

Since you were so enlightening about the aerial water pipe (please note, I didn't use the term ladder truck again), you really didn't address the other issues I put forth.

Since: Nov 07

Kingsley, PA

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#16
Aug 10, 2008
 
real firefighter wrote:
OK, for starters, we don't just fight fires in town... There are factories, limber mills and multi-story farms and houses all around us (including the neighboring towns).
The 'ladder' truck has a water gun attached to the ladder boom, so large areas can be wet down from above.
BTW, what is a 'real' firefighter?
Everybody here risks their collective arses for their community, not for a salary.
Everybody here is regularly trained well beyond the minimum requirement put forth by the State.
HFD are 'REAL' firefighters.
Well, now it makes sense. You have a large stream elevated waterpipe that you will supply with tankers. Of course. It all makes sense to me now! No worries about running out of water there. Hand lines, who needs them anyhow. They are so over rated.
You sure are defensive about real firefighters though, aren't you? What is the minimum standard there? Essentials of Firefighting, with no testing or grades, just show up?
Since you were so enlightening about the aerial water pipe (please note, I didn't use the term ladder truck again), you really didn't address the other issues I put forth.
Nothing covert - I don't know anything about a 'dollar' deal.
Bluelight

New Durham, NH

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#17
Aug 10, 2008
 
What exactly is a real firefighter? Does that mean he gets paid? Volunteer fire and rescue personnel represent 72% of the nation's 1.1 million firefighters. Each of them risks their necks for the safety of the community and its residents. Thank God they are willing and able to do it.
Bluelight

New Durham, NH

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#18
Aug 11, 2008
 
Have you never heard of truss roofing and the dangers involved? No one should be standing on a roof to vent it...hence the need for a quint.
real firefighter

Norfolk, VA

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#19
Aug 12, 2008
 

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You guys are so touchy. And as for truss roofs, if a fire is that far along, why would you want to vent it? It's property that is replaceable. Any fire in a truss roof constructed building that has been burning unchecked for the length of time that it takes you to get there should be considered unsafe. But I still don't know what that has to do with a quint, ladder truck, aerial water pipe, whatever you want to call it.
Frustrated

Carbondale, PA

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#20
Aug 13, 2008
 
real firefighter wrote:
You guys are so touchy.
I think that firefighters in Harpursville are "touchy" because it seems that we CONSTANTLY have to defend our efforts. It is hard enough to find dedicated individuals to attend training and respond to alarms - to top it off, our members have to deal with constant criticism and negative comments from their neighbors.

It is okay to ask questions about the operations. Stop in and anyone will be glad to show you around and answer them for you. Once you have the answers though, you need to accept it - even if you don't agree. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you feel that something needs to be done differently - JOIN! Spend hundreds of hours with us every year training and responding to alarms - then you can VOTE on these issues and elect the officers that YOU feel should lead the department.

Right now, the apparatus and equipment that is utilized by the department has been chosen by the members of the department. You could get into long debates about what you feel is necessary; these debates occur all the time, not just in Harpursville. Whether you think it is better to use a fog tip or smooth bore, 1 ¾” or 2” hose, quint or no quint – we could go on and on. These decisions, in my humble opinion, should be made by those that put their lives on the line to help others. If it can save one life or prevent an injury, it is money well spent.

Here’s my final comment about your last post: I also think that we are so “touchy” because it seems as if we are always the ones being scrutinized. Yes, that comes with the territory when you are part of an organization that receives funding from a tax base – I got that. Let’s think about this though ... why is it that when one of our members happens to purchase beer at the local store the story hits the internet within days yet many departments in the area have beer on tap in their station and that doesn’t seem to be noteworthy. On the same token, we have more FOIL requests than you can imagine because people seem to feel that there is something wrong with our finances (even though two recent audits by the state have proven otherwise), while there are other companies that have had thousands of dollars come up missing and it never makes the headlines.

The reality of it is, take it or leave it, we TRULY are doing our best to serve our community. We work hard to “dot every i and cross every t,” and many of us feel unappreciated – yet the next time a call comes in, we’ll be there and give 110%. Thank God that there are people on this planet that are willing to set differences aside and give of themselves...

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