20 July 2010

Waste to Send Fire Trucks to 911 Calls

Greg Harris calls it, I've been thinking this for years:
Former Cincinnati lawmaker Greg Harris said the fire union is 'playing the politics of fear-mongering' by using brownouts to keep budgets in check. Harris maintains the fire budget is about $20 million beyond what it should be anyway. He said it's a colossal waste of money to send a fire truck and an ambulance to virtually every 911 medical call." - WLWT Story

8 comments:

Silliyak said...

Whata maroon!

Jon said...

I have to say, I kind of agree. The union can cut a guy here or there without shutting down an ENTIRE station. That's ridiculous.

I know I'll sound like a monster if I even suggest that hard-working firemen should lose their jobs, but let's be fair to the the city budget makers. If anything, they should consider adding more paramedics, and cutting a few firemen.

I'm sure managing those huge engines to rush out the door several times a day is expensive.

5chw4r7z said...

Isn't there someone more qualified than us bloggers to make the call?
OH brother, does that mean consultants?
nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Harris suggested this last year when he was on Council, and the firefighters union revoked his endorsement and ran a smear campaign against him. CityBeat wrote about the matter:

http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-18912-police-fire-unions-use-fear-to-protect-turf.html

Anonymous said...

Cincinnati has about 1/3 of the needed ambulance units for the population. So when a squad is out of service on another run an engine(all firefigheters are emt-basics or paramedics) will take the run, and treat the patient until a squad can arrive to transport the patient. If it is a trauma, cardiac, or unresponsive patient, multiple units are dispatched because you will need at least 4-6 firefighters to treat the patient effectively(squads have only have 2 firefighters).

If you keep the engine at the house you will not cut down on personnel because they will still have to staff the same amount of engines to provide adequate fire protection. There are guidelines for this and it factors into how home insurance companies factor a homeowners payment. And you will always need the engine to repond to help in the dire situations I mentioned previously. If you didn't fatalities would rise drastically.

Probably the best option to cut down costs would be to privatize the emergency medical response side of the fire department.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:29,

Your logic only applies if we keep the same number of fire houses. We could have a dozen neighborhood quadrants instead of several dozen neighborhood based firehouses. Most these neighborhood based houses were built over 100 years ago, for an era where there were lots more fires and slower equipment. We could also have shared service agreements with neighboring jursidictions (for example, Mt Washington could have an agrement with Anderson). I do agree that privatizing EMS would save lots of money.

distracted by shiny objects said...

AMEN!!! I don't want firefighters to lose jobs and I am all for people receiving appropriate healthcare. I do want the Emergency Services in this city, however, to be actually used for emergencies. Talk with some ER nurses and docs. Many of the cases the squads bring in are painfully ridiculous and a huge waste of resources.

Fannie said...

Anonymous 5:29 has it RIGHT! I've been screaming at City Council Budget Session after Budget Session, about their reckless ideas in cutting Fire & Police, & the horrific impact it will have on homeowners & their insurance. Additionally, the insurance companies have a formula they use in calculating your rates that factors in how far you live from a fire hydrant, a firehouse & a police station.

Praise the Heavens! Someone else out in a neighborhood gets it besides me!!!

However, I'd like to see the Fire Dept. use a transport protocol. This "you call, we haul" crap has to stop. It's the free rides for an ear ache that's killing the taxpayers & the budget $$. City Hall & UC Hospital started to pursue such a protocol method & I think they got scared off at the idea of those on the public dole becoming instant millionaires on the taxpayer dime.