Islip fire districts cooperate to lower costs
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#1 Dec 22, 2008
If it works that well and saves so much money for these couple of districts, imagine the savings if the county went to a paid system for professional fire fighters and purchased in bulk for the entire county.
The problem of mustering crews during the day would end! In fact, lots of problems would end! Auction off all the toys and games that have been purchased for each house, sell the bars and surplus vehicles and the county would be in a win-win position regarding fire protection!
#2 Dec 22, 2008
The Fire Service on Long Island has long been overdue for reform, unfortunately the corruption is so embedded that it will take a major catastrophe to make real change. If the County Executive really wants to eliminate the abuse and save taxpayer money then he needs to start listening to the professional in the know. first off, the so called "board of commisioners" need to be abolished. It makes no sense to have a bunch of amateur people managing multimilliion dollar taxpayer budgets. Consolidate fire districts among town lines. Appoint a Fire Commissioner with true professional fire service credentials. This Fire Commissioner should work directly for the County Commissioner, similar to a Police Commissioner. There should be only one Fire Chief per town and this Fire Chief should work directly for the Town Supervisor. The Fire Commissioner would supervise these Firechiefs. Eliminate all taxpayer funded "racing" and Drill teams. If the vollies want to play, then let them pay for it out of there own pocket. No more taxpayer funded and or supported "catering hall" fire houses, if you have a need to have a party, then go rent a hall. Eliminate overlapping paid dispatchers and create a headquarters dispatch from town hall which would dispatch all town fire and rescue related calls along all other town related nonsense calls. The headquarters dispatch would be adjacent to the Town Supervisor and the town Fire Chief and it would have direct access to the County 911 system.
#3 Dec 23, 2008
This is a step in the right direction but........maybe now we can eliminate the gold leaf on future fire trucks. Can eliminate ordering unique one of a kind custom built fire trucks and instead buy on a larger county, city or state bid as is done in NYC. Maybe we can eliminate paid junkets for commissioners, fire chiefs and International association of fire fighter's conventions for the commissioners, chiefs and their wives. Maybe we can eliminate vehicles that the commissioners and chiefs use to commute to NYC with. The list goes on. The move by the districts involved is a step in the right direction, but there is still certainly room for improvement.
#4 Dec 31, 2008
You are trying to push an agenda that is not cost effective, paying firefighters could in no way be cheaper than volunteers. Cutting out the lavish annual dinners and unnecessary equipment & buildings as well as increasing mutual aid to neighboring departments is the way to save $$$ and have good coverage.
#5 Jan 11, 2009
I am a volly and I usually take a little offense to some of the angry posts concerning the volunteer fire service , but I agree 100% with your sensible ideas.
#6 Oct 4, 2009
The opinions here are those of non professionals and people never involved in the volunteer service provided by thousands of long islanders. The notion that adding a paid fire department would in anyway be a savings is outright ridiculous. There would be a large increase to property tax. Because of the size of the island the fire service would be far larger then police, look at your tax statement for your police costs. Further, those who are proponents of paid fire fighters have something to gain as they are either union members or are being paid by the union. Second point, consolidating districts would do very little to lower costs as there are OSHA requirements regarding the number of trucks, pumpers etc that are needed in districts based upon the population and buildings located locally. The trucks and facilities would still be required. The rude comment that the people involved currently are amateurs is immature and insulting to those who risk their lives every night. Many volunteer departments on long island see as much activity as houses in the city, additionally many volunteers are also paid firemen. A fire is a fire, and saving a life for free or paid does not differ ones level of professionalism. I would suggest riding along with a volunteer crew so you can see the professionalism displayed by these caring citizens. I won't even recognize the comment that one chief could manage a town, listen to the radio and realize that within the town of Islip there may be 5 ongoing alarms at one time. One day your life will be on the line and regardless of the opinions, one sided, these men and women will save your life think they deserve a nice dinner at the end of the year. With the amount of waste that is current in local government I wonder why you do not focus your efforts on things that could absolutely save money now, rather then far fetched schemes that if you were wrong would danger lives.
Keep this in mind, out of my 7000 tax bill 4500 goes to the school district 300 to the fire department. how much of that 300 can you really save vs how much of the 4500 can be saved a 10% SAVINGS ON EITHER IS 450 VS 30.
#7 Oct 8, 2009
Well put Steve! wish more had your insight as to where the real money goes.
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