From the “you just can’t make this up file”: The Philadelphia Fire Department is (according to this memo) in the process of making a mutual aid agreement with the city of Camden. That’s Camden NEW JERSEY. Many of you may, understandably not see why this is a problem. That’s where I come in. Allow me to explain.
CAMDEN NEW JERSEY JUST LAID OFF ONE THIRD OF IT’S FIRE DEPARTMENT!!!!!!!! Not to mention half of its police force! It’s not safe to fight fires in Camden.
Folks this is absolutely INSANE.
The breakdown of our society has reached a new level. Philadelphia firefighters are hired and paid by the citizens of PHILADELPHIA to fight fires and respond to emergencies in PHILADELPHIA, NOT NEW JERSEY! If Camden didn’t do such a piss poor job of managing its own finances there would be no need to for Philly to send firefighters across the bridge. (Unless there was a serious, unforeseen emergency). They just laid off a third of their firefighters and now they expect us to jet over there a douse their flames? Who is supposed to pay the bridge tolls? Maybe they can get DRPA to install Easy Pass gizmos on all our fire trucks. Swell
Look, jokes aside this issue is just about as insane as it can be. There are so many problems with this I hardly know where to begin. For example Philly firefighters can’t LIVE in New Jersey, but we could DIE there. Think of that. Also we were NEVER informed this was going on. It was brought to light by some of our members who uncovered it on their own.
We are certified in Pennsylvania, not New Jersey. There are untold liability issues. What happens if one of our guys gets injured in Camden? Who picks up the tab? The tax payers of Philly shouldn’t be on the hook for it. We took an oath and that oath never said anything about crossing state lines because another city decided to lay off their firefighters.
If they can do this the what’s to say they don’t lay off trashmen next? Will we have mutual aid trash pickup? How about they just close their schools and bus their kids to Philly as well? Where does this end? Why doesn’t Philly just annex Camden? I’m sure Gov. Christie will give us a good deal on it. It’s total B.S.
Philly has decimated their own fire department with closings and cutbacks. The thought of sending tremendously scarce resources to Camden, depriving the taxpayers of Philly their due fire protection even further is freightening. Who covers the already depleted Philly neighborhoods when we send companies to Camden? Supposed there is a fire death in an unprotected local while we are fighting fires in another STATE??? Imagine the lawsuits!
I am quite certain Philadelphia City Council is unaware of this move as is the Pa. State Legislature. Any bi-state agreement should be carried out at the state level. The state pumps a lot of money into Philadelphia. I wonder how they feel about us covering for New Jerseys budget problems?
After all that is where this all stems from. Fiscal irresponsibility and budgetary mismanagement. Philadelphia firefighters and medics have their hands full responding to the nearly 300,000 calls we get every year RIGHT HERE IN OUR CITY. We are under constant assault from our own administration, an administration that has presided over the wholesale destruction of one of the finest emergency response agencies in this country. It is LUDICROUS to think we have the resources to bail out Camden due to their never ending budget crisis.
Imagine the firefighters from Camden who lost their jobs having to watch Philly firefighters come in and do their work. It’s disgusting. I put forth the notion that Philly should have hired some of those guys since we have so many openings. It could have cut down on our overtime and saved some jobs to boot but it got no traction. (heh) Now we are being turned into mercenary scabs. If Camden needs more fire protection then Chris Christie should do his job. It’s New Jerseys responsibility not Philly’s.
Furthermore the counties surrounding Camden should be stepping up long before Philly. I sense those taxpayers don’t want their fire protection stripped to bail out Camden either. Camden is just another failed Democrat city like Detroit or Baltimore. We are watching entire American cities implode, unable to carry out the basic functions of government.
This is not the fire department I joined.