WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

Our Mayor has said that a two minute increase in response times for the fire department won’t affect the citizens of this city. He says that other stations can cover the areas where he closed fire companies just as well as before. He expects you to believe that time and space have no meaning within the boundaries of our city. The laws of physics don’t apply in Philly. While he may be correct that MANY laws don’t apply in Philly, I can assure everyone the law of TRAFFIC does. He believes that traffic and distance don’t have any bearing on how long it takes firemen to reach the scene of a working house fire. Seriously.

Since companies are now forced to effectively cover TWICE or even THREE TIMES as much ground as before he closed seven companies, response times MUST increase. It’s unavoidable. We simply can’t get from point A to point B as fast as before. Never mind the fact that the firefighters and especially officers are under CONSTANT PRESSURE to lower our accident rates. If we get into an accident we are in serious trouble.

Our drivers are experts in their local. In a city like Philadelphia there are literally THOUSANDS of roads and streets. Our drivers know the in’s and outs of their respective locals, what routes they can and can’t take. Where the schools, hospitals, nursing homes or chemical plants etc. are. They know when to avoid the bus routes or areas of congestion. Now they are being forced to take calls farther out of their normal locals.

Think about it: You have forty five seconds to pick out the best route to a random address ten blocks away, at any hour of the day or night and get into a truck and drive there as quickly as possible, with lights and sirens and radios blaring without getting into an accident no matter what the weather. Think that’s easy? Make it twenty blocks. I got news for you: driving a fire truck on an emergency response in a big city is probably one of the hardest, most stressful jobs I know of. Putting the fire out is relatively easy by comparison.

We may not put out a fire every time we get a call, but we still have to make the run, and that takes it’s toll. Our run volumes constaly go up nearly a thousand a day city wide. More runs equals more stress, more fatigue. Taking companies off the line increases the run volume on other companies. Sooner or later things start to break down. That’s how you get a Deepwater Horizon. Save a hundred thousand dollars by cutting costs and cost yourself a BILLION when things go bad. Duh.

So that’s why I posted this video. Two minutes. That’s our margin of error. The Mayor says these are scare tactics. You make the call. After two minutes anyone in this room is in mortal danger. A firefighter who arrives in time can rescue a person trapped in this or an adjacent room.

That’s if we aren’t stuck in traffic two locals away.

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9 Responses to WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

  1. Wagonsx says:

    Ahh… Just scare tactics. To save more money, the city should close even numbered companies on even days of the month, and odd numbered companies on the odd days.

    Seriously.. If we think manpower is a problem in the police and fire departments now, wait and see how many DROP eligible people sign up before the DROP is eliminated.

    In the Police Dept’s. Patrol Districts and Detective Divisions, there are 3 squads in each platoon. Two of the squads are working, and one squad is scheduled off. However, one day in our 9 day schedule all 3 squads will work. In my Platoon, on the day all 3 squads are working, we are at our minimum manpower. So, 8 out of 9 days we work well below minimum. The City knows this and doesn’t care. Every Police District is suffering with shortages, yet the city cancelled two classes this year with no plans to hire until 2012. There are people who call Police, and do not get a response. It just not possible now. But I’m sure the Mayor’s Security Detail is fully staffed. And I’m sure there’s overtime to cover his busy schedule.

  2. Raptor says:

    Nutter’s really living up to his name. And you can bet he’ll cut himself and his staff big fat bonuses for “solving the problem.”

    In the good old days [EXPLITIVE DELETED]s like him would be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. Or, better yet, put up against a wall and given a blindfold.

  3. Ingineer66 says:

    This is just crazy. If traffic and distance do not matter, then why were the stations opened in the first place? To give a faster response. Has the city population dramatically declined? Are there blocks of vacant land where buildings used to stand. Unless demand is way down then the stations are still needed. We are seeing similar insanity out on the left coast.

  4. C/A says:

    POpulation is down, but geography isn’t. Lots of re-habbed areas and call volume is through the roof, about 1,000 on a busy day.

  5. Old NFO says:

    WTFO??? He’s lying through his teeth, and as soon as there is a problem, it will be Fire/EMS/LEOs faults for not responding in a ‘timely’ manner… sheesh…

    • Dustoff says:

      Or worse. They will push the units faster that what is safe.

      EMS/Fire/Police can’t win this game. )-:

      • Spock says:

        Push me all you want. I will NOT respond any faster than is safe and within “good judgement” – their words. With increased response areas and increased reponse times, our odds of an accident are increased equally if not more. I WILL follow the written procedures of response, PA vehicle code, and city traffic ordinances TO THE LETTER.

  6. Bob G. says:

    Cap:
    Without even watching the video, isn’t it TRUE that a room can reach it’s FLASHPOINT in about TWO MINUTES?

    (yeah, I once took the Philly firefighter test..WAAAAY back in 1971..and got shuffled down the list to #1170…after posting a straight 98% on the damn thing…go figure)

    I’m just sayin’…
    The mayor is WRONG…but maybe he’ll find out if HE ever needs a rapid response and some dumbass marries his car to a utility pole along the route.

    Sranger things can happen.

    Stay safe out there.

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