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Old 11-02-2012, 05:57   #1
certifiedfunds
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Destruction of my local Volunteer Fire Department

For decades we had a volunteer fire department. We taxed ourselves in our little district to build stations, provided them with whatever equipment they needed, new trucks, training, etc. The department had one full time employee, the chief.

Then, the department accepted a grant to hire 14 full time employees.

Then the department unionized. Added more paid employees.

Well, behold. The department is broke.

Now, the grant has run out and there is no money to pay the salaries so they're asking for an increase in taxes or else there will be a cut in services and people will lose their jobs. 90% of the budget now goes toward salaries and benes. Aren't public unions great for America?

I haven't talked to one person who plans to vote for the tax. We didn't need these FT employees with benefits for decades. We don't need them now. We'd prefer to see our home insurance increase than pay these union thugs.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:59   #2
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Seems like a perfect opportunity to revert to the voluntary basis.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:31   #3
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I'm thinking of seeking an appointment to the board to see what our options are and garner support to bust this thing up.

Greedy union bastards.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:34   #4
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I've seen companies lose big because of unions and I have seen companies prosper huge with their unions.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:36   #5
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All that .gov spending. You say it wasn't needed and they just give the money away. Now what?
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:39   #6
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To put it in perspective, what they want adds $500 to my property tax.

Screw em. They can collect unemployment. Call it retribution for destroying something that wasn't theirs to destroy. I can't wait to hear the whining.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:48   #7
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The problem isn't the union. It was taking the grant money in the first place.

Who did the grant come from, and was it one time money?
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HexHead View Post
The problem isn't the union. It was taking the grant money in the first place.

Who did the grant come from, and was it one time money?
It's both.

Used to be 1 chief and bunch of volunteer Indians. Now we have layers. Cost to operate dept has skyrocketed.

Fedgov. 1 time money.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:09   #9
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Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. Now Fire Departments have layers.

Just wow. "We're from the government and we're here to help."
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:16   #10
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The dept operates outside of the local government. Councilmen appointing board members is the extent of government involvement. They have their own taxing district so the people of this district tax ourselves to fund it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:27   #11
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Any idea of the fire insurance differences (commercial/residential/manufacturing) between volunteer and full time guys?

Last edited by MulletLoad; 11-02-2012 at 08:27..
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:42   #12
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Any idea of the fire insurance differences (commercial/residential/manufacturing) between volunteer and full time guys?
Fire ins is based on a ISO rating. Its the same standard whether paid or volunteer. Its based on several different things : calls, response, equipment, personal, certifications and a few other areas. We are all vol. in my station. Our ISO is a 4 as are most of the larger paid depts.

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:44   #13
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I live in a small town. In the last year we have built a new fire station, built a new police station, got another fire truck for the larger new station, and replaced a LOT of sidewalks, oh, and built all new structures at the town park.

One would think the economy was booming.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:51   #14
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I actually believe firemen should be paid for what they do. But I also believe people should be paid for their labor regardless of what they do. Some taxes are good.

That said, sometimes people volunteer because they want to. That is totally acceptable as long as it is truly volunteering and not forced volunteering (i.e. some university programs require students to "volunteer"....Require and volunteer cannot be used together).
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:58   #15
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Originally Posted by Viper16 View Post
I've seen companies lose big because of unions and I have seen companies prosper huge with their unions.
I can see prosper with (in spite of) unions, but never have I seen one prosper BECAUSE of unions.

Of course I live in a right to work state so you don't have to have a union to get government work... or any work as far as I can tell.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:35   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaT View Post
I actually believe firemen should be paid for what they do. But I also believe people should be paid for their labor regardless of what they do. Some taxes are good.

That said, sometimes people volunteer because they want to. That is totally acceptable as long as it is truly volunteering and not forced volunteering (i.e. some university programs require students to "volunteer"....Require and volunteer cannot be used together).
There was a waiting list when it was all volunteer
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VC-Racing View Post
Fire ins is based on a ISO rating. Its the same standard whether paid or volunteer. Its based on several different things : calls, response, equipment, personal, certifications and a few other areas. We are all vol. in my station. Our ISO is a 4 as are most of the larger paid depts.

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We had an excellent ISO rating when it was volunteer. The rating isn't going up with payroll. I can't figure out what I'd be paying for other than another teat for unions to suck dry.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:46   #18
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Originally Posted by Ruble Noon View Post
Seems like a perfect opportunity to revert to the voluntary basis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HexHead View Post
The problem isn't the union. It was taking the grant money in the first place.

Who did the grant come from, and was it one time money?
Somebody saw $$$ signs and lost sight.


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Originally Posted by certifiedfunds View Post
There was a waiting list when it was all volunteer
They should still be there.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:52   #19
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Let me guess, you were one of the volunteers who didn't get hired.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:53   #20
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There was a waiting list when it was all volunteer
That's because everyone wants to tell the girl at the bar they are a fireman (especially in small podunk towns). Then they get hired, get marginal training, show up every now and then, they quit in 2-3 years, you get a new batch of inexperienced boots, people like you dont care because hey "fireman are staffing the station". I was a volunteer and a reserve FF.

I promised myself I would not get into these discussions anymore in the lounge but you are horrible uneducated on the topic. Both on the volunteer FD portion and the union portion. It is scary that there are other people with your view view points. "greedy union" Pffffff gimme a break. If you had people besides hillbilly's running the place it may have survived.

Keep in mind at your next tea party meeting that there has been a bunch of "greedy union" members in this country that have gave their lives in the line of duty. There are even more greedy union members that save peoples lives all day long, everyday. The same people that would vote away thier positions if it saved them a nickel on their taxes.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:00   #21
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That's because everyone wants to tell the girl at the bar they are a fireman (especially in small podunk towns). Then they get hired, get marginal training, show up every now and then, they quit in 2-3 years, you get a new batch of inexperienced boots, people like you dont care because hey "fireman are staffing the station". I was a volunteer and a reserve FF.

I promised myself I would not get into these discussions anymore in the lounge but you are horrible uneducated on the topic. Both on the volunteer FD portion and the union portion. It is scary that there are other people with your view view points. "greedy union" Pffffff gimme a break. If you had people besides hillbilly's running the place it may have survived.

Keep in mind at your next tea party meeting that there has been a bunch of "greedy union" members in this country that have gave their lives in the line of duty. There are even more greedy union members that save dumb peoples lives all day long, everyday.

We created the district to serve ourselves. You seem to forget that we are the customers here. The F'D is there to serve us, not the other way around. They did it fine as volunteers.

Like I said, I'm talking to a few people about trying to secure a spot on the board. We need to crush this union thing and take it back volunteer. I'd rather pay Allstate than a bunch of union leeches.

Since you're such a smart guy, tell me what I'm getting for the additional $500 per year?
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:06   #22
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Originally Posted by bmoore View Post
Keep in mind at your next tea party meeting that there has been a bunch of "greedy union" members in this country that have gave their lives in the line of duty. There are even more greedy union members that save peoples lives all day long, everyday. The same people that would vote away thier positions if it saved them a nickel on their taxes.
Bahaha. This is the gayest thing I've ever read on GNG. Ever.

Do you walk around wearing your local FD shirts on your day off? It doesn't surprise me.

The bottom line and rebuttal to your foolish mentality can be found in the last line of your own post.

The same people that would vote away thier [sic] positions if it saved them a nickel on their taxes.

Isn't that how it works? I pay for something at the price I demand and if I no longer wish to pay that price I lose whatever I am buying?

I'm friends with alot of cops and even more firemen. Alot of them are good, decent people. But I would not pay $500 more in property taxes to keep them employed.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:12   #23
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Here's the funny thing and how they're really screwing themselves....

A millage renewal is on the ballot as well as this additional millage they're asking for. Everyone I've spoken with is so pissed about this that they're voting NO on both. Not only will they likely not get the new money but their greed may well cost them part of their existing budget. Screw em. Clean this stuff up. Fire people. Then come back and ask.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:18   #24
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Seems like a perfect opportunity to revert to the voluntary basis.

This.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:34   #25
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As an Adminstrator for an EMS taxing district I applaud you for stepping up to the plate AFTER the department is broke. If you were involved in the departments business in any way shape or form then you would have seen this coming years ago. As budgets increase and tax base decreases, we are faced with the task of providing our tax payers the premium level of service they expect for less and less money. When houses foreclose and businesses close, the tax dollars aren't getting paid.

Now you want an appointment to the board of directors so you can carry out your agenda of busting up the union, but not addressing the real problem of decreased revenue. I am not a union member and my department is not union. I am not sticking up for the leaders of your local dept but have they been educated on how to run a public safety service? Have they been to Executive Fire Officers school at the National Fire Academy? Or taken any kind of business management courses? You have an agenda that has no place in the operations of a public safety service. You intend to harm a service instead of trying to help it.

Where were you when the dept needed help with their budget? Where were you when they had a beef with the Chief or the board and decided to go union? Why aren't you at every board meeting asking questions and holding officials responsible? You chose not to be involved and now you want to head up the destruction of the department. They really appreciate your help.

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