Volunteers decline for fire department

As the fire department continues to expand its stations, programs and equipment, officials said they are grappling with a declining number of volunteer firefighters in the area - an issue plaguing departments ... Full Story
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trfc

Cold Spring Harbor, NY

#62 Nov 4, 2008
Disagreed. A competent leader is the one to blend all sides and create a solid dept, but someone who has their own agenda, lacks foresight and plays those sides against each other is abhorent. A leader creates NOT destroys. A leader can bring out the BEST from all parties. This person is not what Greenwich needs. Volunteers have declined but they still have a place and emnity is not a tool that should be used to destroy a volunteer system.
Hopper

Cold Spring Harbor, NY

#63 Nov 4, 2008
trfc wrote:
The Fire Chief is anti volley. He has a reputation of this activity in the past. He does everything to undermine the volleys so don't count on any help from him.
He HATES volleys. Look what he did in Danbury.
hdm

Yonkers, NY

#64 Nov 4, 2008
You seem to convieniently be leaving out the core issue, the volunteers claim to be a viable front/firstline resource-this just is not the case.So how can you expect people to look past these falsehoods when doing so negatively impacts the people who are the firstline (career staff)?The bottom line is the career staff are the ones who are thereinitially when the s**t hits the fan. Help 15,20,30 mins into it is nice but needs to be seen for what it is supplemental not frontline. So wouldn't it be prudent to just concede this point so everyone can address how to adapt and move forward?
A Greenwich Volley

Norwalk, CT

#65 Nov 5, 2008
How are volunteers not a front line resource? Over 80% of the fire departments in the US are volunteer so don't tell me the system doesn't work. The one's who are negatively impacted are the ones who are leaving, the volunteers. The fire administration and staff/union in Greenwich has done nothing but discourage us in hopes of having their pipe dreams of an all paid department come true; it's a fantasy land.
hdm

Westport, CT

#66 Nov 5, 2008
Volley,If you had put inthe efforttoread the topic of discussion in my comments you wouldsee the topic is what works in grnch, not all over the US. It is not relevant what happens in Idaho,Tenn.or any where else.Your emotional response is understandable and akin to that of afrantic person searching for their last gulp of air before they go under the waters surface.Now about the negative impact,is this concerning feelings,ego, spirit what?? Please explain how restructuring an in effective entity has anegative impact that out weighs the bigger picture of public safety/service. Itis unfortunate you feel discouraged, but in the volunteer spirit of givingback tothe comminity, why not teach a kid to read?vlounteer to sit with the elderly a few days a week,habitat for humanity, anything to give you encouragement, but pleaseleave feelings at the door and examine facts as they are now in 09 not 79.Fantasyland is kidding yourselinto thinking the system works effectively.
Resident

United States

#67 Nov 5, 2008
hdm what makes you such an expert. You have a lot to say, looking down your nose at people. You make comments about everyone being emotional if they make comments that you disagree with. Perhaps they are but that is because they are involved and care about this topic. No one has ranted about this topic, it is an honest discussion. Are you a fireman? Don't get emotional it is just a question.
A Greenwich Volley

Norwalk, CT

#68 Nov 5, 2008
HDM, no one's frantic or emotional here except for you, we're just having a discussion. And this IS about feelings, no one is going to want volunteer or work anywhere if they are constantly discouraged from doing what they are there to do. Greenwich is a combination department, that's the way it is. Trying to trick and deceive yourselves and others that it is something different is a falsehood.
hdm

Westport, CT

#69 Nov 5, 2008
Residentthishasnotingtodo with lookingdown quite the contrary, it has everything to do with looking eye to eye with yourself in the mirror and others to see things as they are not emotionally but factually. Involvement and caring is a wonderful thing but is your motivation to truly benefit thecommunity you "serve" or for self fulfillment?Ther isno rant here just laying out the facts as they in town in the present. Yes I am in the fireservice 12yrs as avolunteer and14yrs on the career end, so I have experienced both. To address Volley, feelingsare fine to have but youneed tokeep them in perspective. This issue is about the volunteer response abilities and how they have declined. Feelings need to be put aside if you truly want to enhance the servise you provide and people you serve. To not acknowledge outdated, ineffective command structureand how that deminishes respone performance because feelings are hurt is (in my opinion) is true deception.You need to have the intestinal fortitude to ask the question but also honesty answer given the facts.There is no trickery going on, it is a comination dept. but you need to see clearly that one side isn't pulling their weight. Once you have the level headedness to admit it then you can begin to move forward, feelings aside.
A Greenwich Volley

Norwalk, CT

#70 Nov 5, 2008
HDM, the only way this department is moving forward is as a combination department. Sure numbers have declined, that's a statistic, they've declined everywhere. To say that the level of service to the community has declined, because there isn't a volunteer at every single call, is a very far stretch.
Greenwich Taxpayer

Clifton, NJ

#71 Nov 5, 2008
As a resident, I feel the volunteers need to look in the mirror at themselves. You'd be lying to yourselves to think that the combination system in place now is the best for the town of Greenwich. In any combination department, the first line of defense is the career staff which is funded by tax dollars to provide 24hr. service 365 days a year. The other part of the equation is the volunteers. I by no means feel that by eliminating them would not cause some strife. They are useful and very much appreciated for their service. Yet, when they solicit funds from taxpayers like myself every year, they sometimes neglect to say that their gear, training, and most equipment is in fact provided through our taxes. So why in effect should I donate for something my taxes already pay for? Also, as stated before there are areas in town which should have more fire protection,(ie. staffing) OG, East Port, Cos Cob, and Glenville. Not to mention the northeast corridor which would lower their ISO rating and provide faster response times. It is amazing that the biggest opponents sometimes are the ones who set out to do the most good by trying to volunteer their time. Some have tried, unsuccessfully, to be paid firefighters but can't pass all the testing requirements the town asks for. Who is to blame for this? Certainly not the town who sets the criteria for employment, no lets blame the union.Thats the easy way out! Everybody wants the most for their dollars, taxpayers, employees, even employers. A fair balance is sometimes hard to see...hmmm maybe a look in the mirror wouldn't be so bad!
Citizen

Stamford, CT

#72 Nov 5, 2008
Who can not pass the tests? A monk.y could pass the tests to become a paid firefighter!
Did U

New York, NY

#73 Nov 5, 2008
So citizen couldn't pass the test, sounds like u be bitter.
Citizen

Stamford, CT

#74 Nov 5, 2008
Have actually passed a few...Decided to stay in more lucrative career, nothing against being a fire fighter, I just couldn't make the switch and live in my house. Nothing bitter, I just don't think the difficulty of the tests is anywhere close to being the issue at hand.
Best Man

New York, NY

#75 Nov 5, 2008
HDM, are you paid in Greenwich? While you seem to think only paid is important and poo poo the efforts of the voulnteers, in a sly oily way. What's your agenda?
hdm

Westport, CT

#76 Nov 5, 2008
Bestman,My agenda pure and simple is to call itas I see it,fueled up by facts not feelings of being slighted, leftout etc. Bottom line here is the realization that the system as is,(Outdated Command structure,inconsistant timely response by competent volunteers) is not effective, safe for anyone and does not serve the best interest of the town or the Department.A line o fduty death is the same career or volunteer. If you aren't willing to accept the facts because of feelings of being short changed than that pretty much says it all. Look at the facts, see them as they are, no spin, exscuses or rhetoric.Idon'tthink only paid is important,But knowing your role is.In greenwich volunteers are not a viable effective firstline force. We would not be talking about this if the numbers and responses didn't show deficiencies. What I do think is important is giving the residents accurate information. They should'nt take my word for it nor should they rely on unsubstatiated fund drive letters or rely on gossip.. Let them decide for themselves.All they need to do is watch and see who steps of therig when they need timely assistance. The fact is career staff are those people,2am,9am 6pm it neverchanges. So letting frustration influence a descision based on facts serves no one's best interest.Present an opposition based on facts not feelings and you'll see people may be receptive.
Captain Bull Dog thal

Stamford, CT

#77 Mar 1, 2014
Same Old same old. The vast majority of the calls are either unfounded or false automatic alarms. When a true working fire comes in you need a lot of people whether it is a working structure fire, natural weather related disaster, woods fire or evacuation. no municipality could afford to keep a whole bunch of trained people around for those few times when disaster strike. Thats why a combination department, career on staff and volunteers in waiting. The fire fighters who volunteer have to be trained as do the career. Why the hell the Town resists mutual training of all its stagg is beyond me. We are fortunate to have really good people on both sides. We ought to take better advantage of our resources. Just look at the Gables fire and superstorm Sandy when we had first responders in the hundreds and all our equipment brought into play. On the fire ground everyone does his duty. Thats what the Town expects and thats what happens. Its only when there is too much idle time that sides wax poetic and whine. thank God for all Fire man. They are a special breed of citizen. 37 veteran in Old Greenwich.

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