Without a Fight, Fire Consolidation Plan Moves Forward

Share:
davis_firedepartmentIn one of the boldest and most innovative moves since I have been following the Davis City Council, the City Council unanimously and almost without comment approved a plan that would consolidate the leadership of the Davis and UC Davis fire departments under a single fire chief, a move that will save both entities a combined $250,000 a year.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to authorize staff to move forward with a plan to implement the first phase of the pilot project. The plan also calls for a shared fire dispatch center; a restructuring of administrative support functions; and standardized training, policies and procedures, according to a release from the city of Davis.

The plan now moves to UC Davis Vice Chancellor John Meyer for university approval.

Under the plan, Bill Weisgerber, interim chief of the city Fire Department, would become interim chief of both departments, reporting jointly to Meyer and City Manager Bill Emlen. The city and university would contribute equally to his $149,316 annual salary.

“The goal of this pilot consolidation is to provide the best fire services possible given available resources,” said Bill Emlen in a release from the city of Davis, who noted the agreement is part of a national trend to merge fire departments. “The consolidation will eliminate redundancy and duplication of effort, provide opportunities for cost savings and enhance the level of service for both campus and city.”

John Meyer, himself a former City Manager for the City of Davis, who is responsible for the campus Fire Department as vice chancellor of Administrative and Resource Management, added: “We aim to build on the longstanding cooperation of the two fire departments to best serve the people who depend on our local fire services.”

Mr. Emlen and Mr. Meyer estimate that sharing a chief will save UC Davis $110,000 a year and the city about $140,000 a year. The consolidation plan calls for these savings to be reinvested into fire operations.

The release provides additional information:

The two-year city-university agreement would take effect as soon as Sept. 1 and would be renewable for one-year terms. Under its provisions:

  • In addition to the fire chief position, the two departments would share an assistant chief, a training chief, and an operations chief.
  • All other personnel would continue to be employees of their home departments, and their collective bargaining agreements would remain in effect.
  • Fire calls on the Davis campus, now dispatched through a campus facility that also serves the campus Police Department, eventually would be dispatched through the city’s public safety dispatch center to improve emergency dispatch and response coordination. (The Sacramento campus of UC Davis is served by the Sacramento Fire Department.)
  • Ultimately, crews and equipment would be dispatched based on proximity and availability rather than by city and campus boundaries.
  • The departments would implement standardized operating guidelines, training, and policies and procedures, and look at joint purchasing to save money.

According to the city’s release, for years, the city and university have shared the weekly rotation of a duty chief to respond to first-alarm or greater emergencies, and the fire departments have provided mutual aid for major incidents. Although the departments have explored ways to further increase cooperation, possibilities were limited by an assumption that separate management structures had to be maintained.

In 2009, when the chiefs of both departments announced their retirements, the city and university seized the opportunity to explore a new model for managing fire services. The City Council concurred with city staff’s recommendation to participate with the university in seeking consulting services to advise on next steps for a more extensive consolidation of the two fire departments.

The city Fire Department, which has an annual budget of $9.69 million, 45 firefighters and three fire stations, responded to almost 4,169 calls for service in 2009. The campus Fire Department, which has an annual budget of $3.95 million, 20 firefighters and one fire station, responded to 939 calls.

The city and UC Davis will continue to be responsible for their own fire prevention activities.

Commentary:

As I mentioned in a previous column that bears repeating, last year, the city commissioned the consultants, Citygate, to do a study of fire staffing needs.  There was one finding in that report that was helpful, much to the chagrin of those who have advocated for a fourth Davis firestation. Citygate found that such an expensive endeavor may not be necessary.

The report argued against moving from four firefighter crews to three firefighter crews, which is a move most cities are down to, both out of fiscal necessity but also due to the fact that under most conditions fire crews do not need four firefighters, and when they do, they can quickly assemble such crews.

Citygate is a consultant company that advises cities about staffing issues. But it should be pointed out that Citygate is run by ex-firefighters.

They argued that fielding three, 3-firefighter crews would be a “noticeable reduction in service.”  But would it?  They argue that it means that the first unit has to wait for the second unit to arrive before entering a structure well involved in fire.  But they failed to cite the number of times a fire crew had to enter a structure in a given year.  Turns out rarely if ever.

“To provide both the speed and weight of the attack, the report continues, and to lessen the need for two units to respond to a modest call,” the report continues, “fielding three 4-firefighter crews is a very effective strategy, given the unusual amount of simultaneous incidents and widely spaced stations.”  But would firefighters typically have to do a building entry in a fire that is modest and would not require a second unit?  That seems unlikely.

Given their assessment Davis needs more than 12 firefighters on-duty, but instead of arguing for a fourth fire station, they argue that “In the combined developed area of Davis and UCD, four fire stations staffed with a total of 15 firefighters on duty are wholly adequate to cover the entire area, if deployed as one system.”

If they do that, they argue that “for the foreseeable future there is no need to build an additional station in Northern Davis until there is significant growth in that area.”

Right there was the genesis of the merger. What is interesting is that they were talking about mutual aid agreements rather than merger.  The city came up with the idea for merger by itself.

All of this information is a refresher for those who have been reading this site for awhile.  But the important point to make is that while the city cites a $110,000 annual savings from the merger, a modest total, the true savings is a lot more because it avoids the necessity of a fourth fire station.  That was listed as an unmet need and that is now taken completely off the table for the conceivable future.

The next step and this is part of what concerns me is consolidating the entire leadership structure of both departments.  How will that be achieved?  Will they incorporate the battalion chief model that the city has been pushing for.

On the other hand, on Tuesday I had an interesting discussion with the interim Chief at UC Davis and he mentioned that across the state there are mergers of fire services including Fairfield and Dixon.  That leads to the question as to whether we might see the possibility of a merger with Woodland or even countywide with Woodland and West Sacramento.  Certainly Woodland which has stations only seven minutes away from North Davis might be an additional avenue to explore.  Woodland has its own problems fiscally and perhaps joint operations and a single chief and command structure, might benefit both departments.

In the end, any money saved here is a good thing but the big money still comes from a disproportionate compensation system, overtime structure, and four firefighter team engines.  That is where we really need to look long and hard.  As I mentioned previously, Davis is one of the few cities that has remained with four man teams.  And yet, due to our building codes and geography, we rarely have the type of fires that would really necessitate building entries.  According to our records, less than three building entries per year.

If that is indeed the case, perhaps there are alternative scenarios that would allow a three man team to enter a building quickly.  First, looking at response times, the second fire station is rarely more than two minutes away.  Second, we could train police officers in an emergency situation to be the fourth person to assist firefighters until the second engine arrives.  We are talking about three incidents a year that require entry and yet we are paying for an extra staff person at each station, meaning three extra staff people the entire year for three incidents.  Is that really the best use of resources in a time when we desperately need to reduce spending?

These are all issues that we need to continue to work on.  However, I will applaud the City of Davis and UC Davis for moving forward with the needed consolidation and urge the council and city to look toward more innovations to save us additional money.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

24 thoughts on “Without a Fight, Fire Consolidation Plan Moves Forward”

  1. SODA

    What am I missing here? This could only happen when both chiefs retired? Individuals more important that the whole?
    How many of us in private sector have been impacted by mergers and elimination or reassignment because of duplication?
    Another case of double standard?

  2. Crilly

    I wouldn’t count on any savings for the City of Davis from this plan at all. In fact, we’ve already been warned. There was a telling quote in the Enterprise on Tuesday taken from a report by Emlen and Meyer: “We do not necessarily approach this task believing it will reduce costs; indeed, savings may well be invested into operational areas currently under stress.” Sounds like a fourth fire station to me!

  3. Rich Rifkin

    David, do you know where the “batallion chief” model restructuring plan of the last city council now stands? Does this reorganization end that? Or is it a fait accompli already?

  4. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “Mr. Emlen and Mr. Meyer estimate that sharing a chief will save UC Davis $110,000 a year and the city about $140,000 a year. The consolidation plan calls for these savings to be reinvested into fire operations.”

    Do I assume this means any savings will not be realized by the city itself for use in their general funding, but only by the fire dept? Then how is it really a savings to the city? All it is really is meeting an unmet need in the fire department, no?

    dmg: “According to the city’s release, for years, the city and university have shared the weekly rotation of a duty chief to respond to first-alarm or greater emergencies, and the fire departments have provided mutual aid for major incidents. Although the departments have explored ways to further increase cooperation, possibilities were limited by an assumption that separate management structures had to be maintained.
    In 2009, when the chiefs of both departments announced their retirements, the city and university seized the opportunity to explore a new model for managing fire services.”

    Sounds like the merger should have happened a long time ago…

  5. Alphonso

    It would be better if the depts were truly merged – I wonder how different are the compensation scales of the two Unions. Perhaps one dept could be selected for all future hiring so over time a true merger would be completed.

    Other savings –
    The planned fire station in West Village would not be needed since the area could be covered by the Arlington and Campus stations.

    Four person fire crews
    How could the UCD student fire fighters (I think there are 15) be utilized to cover the fourth man at least on some shifts?

    Future Savings
    I will bring up medical services again. The fire dept provides a service – 90% of the calls are medical yet AMR needs to be called if paramedics are needed. Fire could provide the same service and all of the incremental costs would be covered by patient insurance. It is likely that the revenue from such a program would actually subsidize other Fire activities so the net Fire cost would be reduced. The winners would be Davis (lower net Fire costs and better coordination of Fire/Medical services) and firepeople (more exciting and fullfilling job along with slightly higher compensation) – of course the firepeople would have to upgrade to paramedics). The losers would be AMR (fewer calls in Davis – would still have some overload calls) and the County (Yolo might have to pay more for the AMR contract since AMR would lose most of the Davis calls).

  6. indigorocks

    wait a minute..how are we saving any money if the savings will go back into the fire department? i’m confused..shouldn’t that money go back to the tax payer??

  7. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”The planned fire station in West Village would not be needed since the area could be covered by the Arlington and Campus stations.”[/i]

    I doubt this is the plan. The Arlington station is only 1 mile from Russell Blvd at West Village. However, even though there will be a bike lane, which can be used for emergency access, I suspect they won’t want to rely on that access.

  8. JustSaying

    [quote]David: “Mr. Emlen and Mr. Meyer estimate that sharing a chief will save UC Davis $110,000 a year and the city about $140,000 a year. The consolidation plan calls for these savings to be reinvested into fire operations.”[/quote] Isn’t this just one idea for use of the “savings”? The consolidation couldn’t be contingent on this, right? Wouldn’t our Council would have to decide where to budget the “savings”? (And how could sharing a $150.000 chief save a total of $250,000, anyway?)
    [quote]Alphonso: “I will bring up medical services again. The fire dept provides a service – 90% of the calls are medical yet AMR needs to be called if paramedics are needed. Fire could provide the same service… so the net Fire cost would be reduced….”
    Davis FD website: “The Fire Department provides pre-hospital emergency medical services at the EMT-1D level…”[/quote] Alphonso, why does AMR (Amer. Med. Resp.) have to be called if DFD provides EMT services? (EMT-1D level means what, something different that AMR provides?) Was there some study made that claimed Davis would save money by contracting out aid calls? EMT training for our firefighters seems like a reasonable decision in any case, and bringing in insurance $ by handling such calls sounds great.
    [quote]SODA: “What am I missing here? This could only happen when both chiefs retired? Individuals more important that the whole?”[/quote] Excellent point! What other decisions get delayed or poorly made because of similar deference to individual staffers by the City Council? In the planning arena, maybe?

  9. Alphonso

    To JustSaying

    Actually there is a big difference between an EMT and a Paramedic. A Paramedic – ten times more training, authority to give about three dozen life saving drugs and they can open airways. I had a conversation with a retired Palo Alto fireman and he clearly explained the difference – “before we implemented the Paramedic program we would go to serious medical situations and all we could do is watch the person die and hope AMR would arrive shortly”

  10. Sue Greenwald

    David Greenwald:

    Actually, I made some rather extensive comments that you neglected to cover. I said that I thought that this consolidation is a good first step, but it will need to be followed by significant structural changes if it is to save the city the kind of money that we need to save.

    These structural changes, of course, include the issues you have covered, since these issues have long been on the table. They had been notably pushed by Stan Forbes since before I joined the council.

    I was not at all happy with my own formal interview with Citygate. When I sat down for my interview, their first comment to me was that they could “get” us the battalion chiefs without additional cost. I told the representative that that my goal was not to “get” battalion chiefs, which merely meant a very expensive upgrading of the rank, pay and job description of 9 existing employees, but rather we needed to actually cut our total firefighting expenses down to sustainable levels, especially given our looming unfunded liabilities.

    One of the best things about the consolidation is that we will be jointly hiring new consultants.

  11. Avatar

    SUE , “””One of the best things about the consolidation is that we will be jointly hiring new consultants. “””

    How much more money do you have to waste ? Shouldn’t you talk to the department head of the fire dept. , to get your consulting ? Which is what we pay there salaries for .

    Unless Bill Emlen picked a loser and you have no faith in there decision making .

  12. Kona

    I believe the cost to become a paramedic is like 6-10,000.00 per firefighter. Then the schooling is about a year or maybe 6 months. Then you would have to purchase all the extra medical equipment like the drugs, and the equipment to open airways. If you have to transport the patient then you would have to call an ambulance anyway. AMR would give priority to the paying agencies I am sure and you would get a unit from Sacramento if all county units are tied up. Then if you want to transport then you have to buy ambulances and equip all the ambulances. Then you would have to hire additional firefighters to staff the ambulances, because you cant leave the fire truck without fire fighters if there is a fire or vehicle accident. I think the cost would be out of this world. Just training 20 firefighters to be medics it would cost about 200,000.00 then you have to recertify and take continuing education classes. Plus a small department would not have the buying power to purchase equipment as that of an AMR or a Sac City FD.

    Plus the point of watching a patient go down hill would not be a good thing.

  13. Kona

    Idgo rocks,

    You are saving money because all the eggs are in one basket. If money goes back into the fire dept..that is less going to the fd from the general fund. Think about it. If the DFD saved 110,000 and put it back into the fire department…that is 110,000 that does not have to leave the general fund and another department can use it. The eggs are all in one basket.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    DAVIS FD UNION SPOKESMAN: [i]”Shouldn’t you talk to the department head of the fire dept., to get your consulting?”[/i]

    LOL!

    You guys were the ones who picked out the bogus consultant, Citygate, which is filled with fire union shills (as I was told by a local city manager, not Bill Emlen), in order to reject the most important reform: get rid of 4 on a truck scheduling and go back to 3, which we used well for most of the history of Davis.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    In Davis, per the Yolo County JPA contract, we are served by 3 AMR ambulances, positioned strategically around town. (At times ambulances from W. Sacramento or Woodland will move closer to Davis to provide more coverage. At other times, just the reverse. But for the most part we always have 3 AMR ambulances ready to respond.)

    When someone calls 9-1-1 for a medical emergency in Davis, an AMR ambulance always responds. Each AMR ambulance always has one highly trained paramedic and one EMT. (All ff’ers are EMTs.)

    (For political reasons*, the DFD also responds to all 9-1-1 medical calls, even when they are not needed. In my estimation, our 9-1-1 operators should determine if the conditions exist in which the ambulances really need back-up.** The 9-1-1 operators use their skills to determine how many police need to be dispatched for criminal complaint calls.)

    The firefighters arrive on scene to help the ambulance, not the other way around. So save the instances when the ambulance crew needs the firefighters to help them, the firefighters racing to medical emergencies is mostly a waste of time, money and resources, and takes them away from the fire station*** when a fire or hazardous materials call comes in, and they present a great danger on the road to other cars, bikes and pedestrians, and in many locations their noisy sirens needlessly wake up or disturb neighbors, and (as I have been told repeatedly by people in Davis) they make such a ruckus that some people with chronic illnesses will no longer call 9-1-1 because they don’t want an ambulance and two large fire trucks to storm into their neighborhood or apartment complex every time.

    I have been told by city staff that the City of Davis does not keep records as to who arrives first at medical emergencies, the ambulance or the fire truck. However, I spoke with an AMR crew about this last year. They told me that in their experience the firefighters arrive last “better than 90%.” The ambulance driver said (paraphrasing): “When the call comes in, we roll. Those guys (the firefighters) have to gear up. That takes time. We are also better positioned most of the time.”

    ———

    *Political reasons? Yes. The ff’ers justify their compensation under the theory that they are doing a lot of work. They always report the large number of calls they respond to. But if the calls that they don’t need to go to were removed, it would look like they are not nearly as busy as they claim to be.

    **Any time there is a vehicle accident, the firefighters are needed. Any time someone is on an upper story of a building, it is helpful to have more men there to move the patient down stairs. And any time there are multiple patients for one call, the fire department should respond. Our 9-1-1 operators are pros. They can determine when it makes sense to order the ff’ers to respond to medical calls. But our policy is to use no discretion at all–send them no matter what. That is against the public’s best interest.

    Imagine if there was a routine medical call on Sandpiper Drive in North Davis. The ambulance crew would get there first, and minutes later a fire truck from the downtown station would arrive for no purpose. But just when the fire crew arrives, a car accident takes place at 5th & F downtown with serious injuries. The fire crew will leave the call from Sandpiper, but it will take them five times as long to get to the car accident than it would have if they had just stayed in the firehouse. That’s a common example of how our political policy hurts our public safety.

    ***By leaving the firehouse to follow an ambulance to the edge of town, the fire trucks might be out of position to respond quickly to a fire call in the center of town.

  16. Alphonso

    I think the idea is to reduce costs, not to maintain the status quo.

    If you are a service business and the customer needs change then you need to change the business model. When 90% of the calls are medical wouldn’t it be better to equip Fire to handle those calls (probably at a lower overall cost) than to rely on two service providers. Don’t be like the prior City Manager (Antonen) who explained to me eight years ago that a merger of the two fire departments was impossible. Study the issue, do a cost benefit analysis and go from there.
    .

    By the way, I would suggest Davis to operate two ambulances out of different fire stations. The response time to incidents would be fast because there would be no need to “gear up”.

  17. JustSaying

    Kona: Wrong. Money “saved” by FD staffing changes then spent on new FD expenses doesn’t mean the general fund gets to spend it again on parks or something else. The Council would have to take the “saved” funds from FD needs and redirect them to some higher priority needs. I wonder if someone is going to say “no deal” if the FD doesn’t get to keep the money.

    Sue: Glad you support further cost-cutting after this “first step.” How much did the Citygate studies cost? Is the report online, and who decided to hire them in the first place? Why do you support spending more money to study this issue, and how much is the new outfit going to cost? (“One of the best things about the consolidation is that we will be jointly hiring new consultants.”)

    Rich: Aren’t you just a little skeptical that the FD doesn’t know who gets to a scene first? Seems like response time is a pretty basic performance measure for fire and ambulance services.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    [i]By the way, I would suggest Davis to operate two ambulances out of different fire stations. The response time to incidents would be fast because there would be no need to “gear up”. [/i]

    By state law — I think — ambulance services are always contracted at the county level. In our case, Yolo County is part of a larger (6 county, I believe) Joint Powers Authority which has contracted with AMR ambulance services. Per Yolo County’s contract, our needs in Davis for ambulance service is met. We cannot opt out of the JPA or county agreement and operate our own ambulance services.

    The idea of assigning ambulance service authority to the counties is to make sure all areas of the state, urban and rural, get covered. So, for example, if there is a call for an ambulance in Esparto and a Woodland ambulance is the closest available, one from Woodland will race out Highway 16 for that call; at the same time, a Davis ambulance will be repositioned half way between Davis and Woodland; and a West Sac ambulance will be repositioned between Davis and West Sac.

    If we in Davis think we are not getting adequate ambulance services, then it is up to our city council (or whomever they delegate) to appeal to the county for better service.

    At one point, when we were talking about adding a 4th fire station in order to get better response times for medical calls, I thought it would have made more sense for the city to hire a 4th ambulance to work along with the AMR ambulances. But I found out, after suggesting that, that is illegal. The JPA gives AMR sole responsibility for ambulance services in Davis; and we cannot augment that.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Rich: Aren’t you just a little skeptical that the FD doesn’t know who gets to a scene first? Seems like response time is a pretty basic performance measure for fire and ambulance services.”[/i]

    I suspect they know. What I had asked for was the statistics on who arrives first and who arrives second, and I was told Davis does not keep such records.

    By the way, I would guess that the AMR people basically told me the truth. However, if they fudged the facts, they likely fudged them in a way to make AMR look better.

    The only reason I think it makes a difference that AMR gets to the calls fastest most of the time is that it suggests our not sending out two full fire trucks to every 9-1-1 medical call won’t result in delayed arrival for medical emergencies. Obviously, in the case of a heart attack or even a bad cut, time is of the essence. So if the 9-1-1 operator thinks that a fire truck can get to an emergency scene before an ambulance can (when for example the nearest ambulance is far away), she should dispatch the fire trucks in a case like that.

    On the other hand, if the ambulance is waiting by the Carl’s Jr. on E. Covell and a call comes in for a house on Birch Lane or Claremont Drive, it seems like a bad idea to order two full fire trucks to also attend to that call, save when there are other reasons the ambulance needs a back-up.

  20. Alphonso

    “But I found out, after suggesting that, that is illegal. The JPA gives AMR sole responsibility for ambulance services in Davis; and we cannot augment that.”

    That may be. However Palo Alto managed to consolidate the University and City fire departments more than 30 years ago and they implemented their own ambulance service. Most if not all the rest of Santa Clara county is covered by AMR. The PA ambulance service revenue more than covers its costs, meaning it helps subsidize the rest of the Fire operation. The AMR contracts can be changed and even broken – Alameda County just kicked AMR out in favor of a less expensive (or one that will kick more money back to the county) alternative.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    [i]That may be. However Palo Alto managed to consolidate the University and City fire departments more than 30 years ago and they implemented their own ambulance service.[/i]

    Thanks for the information. I should look into it. I wonder if that was grandfathered in, or if Santa Clara County made a special provision for Palo Alto and Stanford.

    [i]”The AMR contracts can be changed …”[/i]

    Yes. However, size apparently matters. Thus, Yolo County joined the larger JPA to get the best deal possible from AMR. If Yolo opted out of the JPA, Davis would likely have more leverage. But Yolo might be in a weaker position. (BTW, that may all be wrong. It’s just what I was told by a spokesperson for one of our soon to be former supervisors.)

  22. Kona

    Rich,

    Your comments are book comments not street comments. Meaning you are doing alot of reading and coming to your own conclusions. You act like an emergency service agency has a crystal ball and can tell what calls are going to come in before they even do. If a fire truck responds to a person in need for a minor medical problem (assuming) until you actually arrive and then a vehicle accident happens and you are assuming it is bad then you are to…in a split second decide that one is worse then the other, and divert a fire truck.

    Even the best dispatchers cant see what is on the other side of the phone. That is what made Rescue 911 such a popular show. How many times did you hear Wil Shatner say….”Emergency personal thought that they were responding to XYZ but when they arrived on scene it was totally different” ” what was explained as a cut arm was a laceration of the femoral artery.”

    Why dont you read the story about the young man that was saved with CPR by UC Fire units a couple years ago. The call came in as a seizure on the Soccer field…23 year old man. Would you think CPR. Well according to the story when the fire dept arrived on scene and they were first. It was a full blown CPR in progress. So what was a standard seizure call is now a CPR. Thank god they did not divert the Fire Truck to the bad vehicle accident that ends up being a fender bender non injury. These stories are all over the place in the emergency service arena.

    I read a couple years back in West Sacramento. The call came in as a motorcycle on fire. The dispatch asked all the right questions. Guess what. The Fire Dept arrived on scene with one unit and the whole house was on fire. Why. The motorcycle was in the house. The guy was cleaning parts with gasoline. So what was a single fire engine call ended up being a big call. The guy that called 911 forgot to mention the fact the motorcycle was in the house.

    What about in the City of Davis. An extinguished Fire call with a single fire truck response, ends up being a full blown domestic violence. The extinguished fire was from one person lightning another persons things on fire, after the fist fight. I heard this myself on a scanner. The police had to be called in.

    Just a few stories of what I have heard and read. So you cant rely on a dispatcher to ask a couple of questions when a person is freaking out on the other side of the phone and paint a perfect picture. Every person handles pressure different, some give information and good information, some you have to pry it out of them. Some only say the last thing they remember. Example- Vehicle accident I-80 and Richards. The call ends up being Kidwell and Richards. Why, the 911 caller told the last overpass they remembered. Human nature. In a split second the untrained mind will start the slide show of memories and blurt out the last they remember. Even though they are at Kidwell Rd. The call was for Richards Blvd. Here that all the time on the scanner too.

    Some may think a bad vehicle accident is just that, because they have never seen a vehicle accident before when they called 911. In a perfect world your examples would work just fine.

    That is the job of the emergency services. To respond to the “unknown”.

    How about Sacramento City Fire Department…..ITS JUST A LITTLE GAS LEAK…that blew up the whole house and injured firefighters. Maybe you could have loaned them your crystal ball and then they could have saw that one coming.

    The fact is we all forget that we have numerous fire engines for the just in case…that is called INSURANCE. Just in case. Now I am sure if each station had the RR crystal ball and they could look into it and say..ok…today we only need 2 people on duty because the crystal ball says we have a band aid call and a lifting up an old person whom has fallen. But tomorrow we need full staffing because the crystal ball says that we will have a big fire down town that consumes the Baskin Robbins, Davis Jewlers and what other business caught on fire that the FD put out. Get my point.

    SOme are so clouded in smashing the F.D. that they forget to do a REALITY check. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    You can read a book and everything goes as planned or appears to run a certain way…but the curve balls of life keep the street smart people in business.

    I am sure that the Fire Service has been in business since the 1700’s in the US for a reason. To serve the public when needed. I dont know about you, but I am just fine with a fire truck with 3 or 4 firefighters showing up to my house in a pinch I would rather have to many then not enough. That goes across the board in just about everything.

  23. Kona

    What happened to the very reason that the emergency services were put into place. To help the communities they serve REGARDLESS of how big or small the problem is. What happened to the human factor. All this talk about cut this and cut that. Cut something that saves lives. Cut something that protects life and property. That does not make sense to me.

    I guess you could tell that to the family that is upside down on I-80 trapped, injured or scared. Or the family that is watching there memories go up in smoke every second the fire department is not on the job or not being able to put the fire out fast because we felt we did not need this many fire firefighter for this once and awhile fire. Tell that to the person that is watching there stuff go up in smoke. How about the Kid at UC Davis that is alive because the FD was on scene first when SECONDS count with a CPR. I am sure he could argue his points. How about the kid that comes home from a high school football game and says he has a headache and the parents call 911. The fire dept arrives and the kid stars seizing and foaming at the mouth because of a brain injury from the football game. But it was just a headache.

    Believe it or not..it seems to me the calls that need alot of firefighters are the ones that hurt the citizens the most. Those are the calls that dont happen as often. But you cant see those calls coming and as a CITY you sure as heck dont want to get caught with your pants down so to speak. You want to be prepared for the worst.

    I just find it funny when Tragedy strikes and the firefighters and Police save the day on one of those few and far in between calls or even saves the day for a minor call, they are called heroes, Thank you Firefighters, You dont get paid enough, You are the bravest.

    Then when nothing is going on and the firefighters are saying oh no..its been to long, the hammer has got to drop some time because it always does. The short termed memory people have the pitch forks out and are ready to hang up all the lazy, ambulance chasers, playing checkers and polishing chrome, raping the public of there hard earned tax money.

    Sometimes I am sure the short term memory people get struck with tragedy ( because NOBODY is immune to tragedy)and it is a Firefighter or a Cop that may give them need, may bring back there 2 year old child from a drowning, or rip them themselves from the clutches of death. I bet the pick up that flag that says Fire and Police and they will wave it around a little bit.

    I say let the grass grow a little taller between cuttings before we cut or shoot down something that WE may need later. Dont worry RR will send out a memo from the crystal ball.

    I see the cup half full while most it appears see it half empty.

    Bringing together something as important as two fire agencies to make things better for the community at large is a no-brainer.

    Oh and the people that are chronically ill can request a silent approach when they call 911. That means no lights and sirens when they get close to the persons house. I found that on google too.

    I do agree that money should be looked at by all means, but never let money get in the way of something that will help save a member of my family or a friend.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for