Stoltz of Coudersport

xxx

xxx

Do You Know: You can buy this marquee ad on Solomon's words for the wise for your business or event for only $10. per day! It's just one of the low cost advertising options available. Your ad is viewed 40,000 to 70,000 times every day. Email us for information on other ad locations.

Solomon's Auction & Yard Sale Page

Bokman of Wellsville

E & G

Howard's Inc, Coudersport, PA

UPMC Cole

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fire & Ambulance--Somebody's Going To Dial 911 & Nobody's Going To Show Up

Pa. is beyond sounding the alarm about a shortage of emergency responders, fire commissioner says

 By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com

Penn Live.com
In 1977, there were 300,000 volunteer firefighters. Today, the number is closer to 50,000.
Recruiting and retaining firefighters and emergency medical service providers is a growing concern in Pennsylvania and lawmakers are looking at ways to address it.

Volunteer ambulance squads have also seen a decline. Even the number of paid career emergency responders are seeing cuts because of municipal funding shortages.

“Sooner or later, somebody’s going to dial 911 and the 911 center is going to dispatch a fire department and nobody’s going to show up,” State Fire Commissioner Edward Mann told the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee on Thursday. “That’s where we’re headed.”  Read more...

Anonymous wrote:
Burnout-When you have to take how many hours to train away from your paid job/family sometimes at your own cost dedication can only go so far. People only have so much they can give of themselves @ the cost of their careers/families. That's just training. Consider maintenance & upkeep. You can't just use equipment & let it sit. Every time there is a call & @ least a couple of times a month these same people have to clean-maintain-repair & replace tools & equipment. If you have a large incident, cleanup can take days. Purchase of new apparatus-By the time you replace a 25 yr old piece of apparatus the cost is x 4. It's not cheap-things don't last forever. Maintenance of building & grounds-takes time & money. 

Fundraising-Not only do firefighters train/maintain-they also have to secure funds to stay afloat. If each county had a grant writer it would save the local volunteers COUNTLESS COUNTLESS HOURS-this position could represent all companies in the county. That's just grants. Grants do not account for a very large dollar figure in any fire company's budget in this county! The big bucks are awarded to large municipalities below I 80. Most fire dpts receive emergency services taxes from the municipalities they serve but that's not enough to cover their budgets even when combined with grant income. 


Management-If you are a company officer you just offered yourself up for a 40+ hour a week job. Volunteers hold these positions at great costs to them personally. Thank god we are fortunate enough to have people who will take on these unpaid jobs. That's dedication. There is great pride in being a leader & volunteer, & thank God you have a supportive family. 

The general public, while supportive, doesn't understand what it takes to keep a fire station (or ambulance hall for that matter) going. Depts don't get free utilities-they have to pay insurance- buy fuel-protect their members safety- maintain & replace equipment- maintain premises-buy fire prevention materials-and spend a large amount of time raising other funds. Envelope drives help, but its still not enough. Don't forget, every piece of paper, stamp, pencil or pen used at the fire station costs money. Nothing is free for emergency services. 

Charging for services rendered works in some place but not in others. You have to do billing and follow up but you may have to spend funds to collect outstanding debts-if someone still doesn't pay do you take it to court, enter judgments? Does a volunteer organization have the funds, personnel, & time to pursue this avenue? Not usually. 

New members don't coming knocking at the door very often either. People just don't have the time to dedicate. A good % of new members are children & family members of other firefighters. At a local fire station in Potter Co about 50% of members are family. Every person who joins a volunteer organization deserves our deepest gratitude. Potter County has some of the best emergency services personnel this country could provide. The family members in my house represent approximately 55 years of experience & dedication & it has made us better people for it. 

We must urge Ed Mann / state leaders to step up their support. We need to rally our politicians to help us serve our public. 


The lists above are missing at least one thing-answering the call when it comes. The above activities all have to happen BEFORE answering the call because without training-maintenance- fundraising- membership duties, answering the call can't happen. 

Please support your local volunteers!!! They may not be perfect, but they are definitely God's gift to protect us. 

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

If politicians had their priorities right (local and state), there would be funding for NECESSARY services like ambulance, fire and police. Cut some frivolous spending on less important programs and take care of our first responders. Thank God we have the volunteers that we do. I think there needs to be paid positions for certain things with a mixture of volunteers.

Anonymous said...

Is this just a push for paid fire departments? There has to be paid incentives for "volunteer" fire departments? Where is the sense of community spirt. Well let them go broke, someone will come in to fill the gap. They should charge by a usage fee anyway. If you use it ,pay for it if not, don't. Pretty soon when the taxpayers see how much they are paying , will expect some type of service for it.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to guess one of the reasons for a lack of volunteer firemen is the obscene amount of training and requirements it takes these days to serve your community. It's probably a full time job that you don't get paid for. Who can blame them. I'm sure there are plenty of people that would do it if the government would get out the way and let them do it. I suppose that's probably the point though.
Trying to make it so difficult that a volunteer dept. can't survive. Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

The best part of this story will be all the people that will write something here bout how we all need to work together and support the departments but I know that none of u guys will join a department and help out. I would love to see some more people join r department n help out. But i would love to see the people in are community help support r local department

Anonymous said...

300,000 to 50,000...wow ! That's a huge difference considering the population has grown dramatically since 1977. Since we are sharing opinions here, I'll give my two cents. A lot of families in today's world struggle to make it on one income. So either the husband and wife both work, or the husband is working two jobs to make ends meet. When this is the case, there are no hours left in one's day to volunteer.

However, the unemployment rate in today's world is a lot higher too. And I'm sorry if this offends someone (who it doesn't apply to) but those people who have gotten use to living on "benefits" have really become quite LAZY. People would rather collect an unemployment or welfare check than take an available job, because ...as they put it...it's not worth it to go to work when I can make more sitting on my ass. The government has created a society littered with lazy, uneducated, entitled bums.

With as many people "out of work" in the country, you would think the number of volunteers would RISE, not fall. People have to shame. They don't CARE what their neighbors think of them. They don't CARE what label they are given. They see an excuse, and they take it.

Municipalities will be forced to TAX the hell out of the working class citizens. And the freeloading slobs will remain on their butts all day, frequent the bars and tattoo parlors, collect free medical care, rent & utility assistance, free food and even a cell phone. And not once, will the thought ever cross their minds, that maybe they could or SHOULD volunteer a few hours a week (40 would be nice) to the people who make life EASY for them.

If everyone worked and everyone paid their fair share of taxes, the entire country would be a much better place ! In ever aspect.

We can dream anyway !

Anonymous said...

Burnout-When you have to take how many hours to train away from your paid job/family sometimes at your own cost dedication can only go so far. People only have so much they can give of themselves @ the cost of their careers/families. That's just training. Consider maintenance & upkeep. You can't just use equipment & let it sit. Every time there is a call & @ least a couple of times a month these same people have to clean-maintain-repair & replace tools & equipment. If you have a large incident cleanup can take days. Purchase of new apparatus-By the time you replace a 25 yr old piece of apparatus the cost is x 4. It's not cheap-things don't last forever. Maintenance of building & grounds-takes time & money.
Fundraising-Not only do firefighters train/maintain-they also have to secure funds to stay afloat. If each county had a grant writer it would save the local volunteers COUNTLESS COUNTLESS HOURS-this position could represent all companies in the county. That's just grants. Grants do not account for a very large dollar figure in any fire company's budget in this county! The big bucks are awarded to large municipalities below I 80. Most fire dpts receive emergency services taxes from the municipalities they serve but that's not enough to cover their budgets even when combined with grant income. Management-If you are a company officer you just offered yourself up for a 40+ hour a week job. Volunteers hold these positions at great costs to them personally. Thank god we are fortunate enough to have people who will take on these unpaid jobs. That's dedication. There is great pride in being a leader & volunteer, & thank god you have a supportive family. The general public, while supportive, doesn't understand what it takes to keep a fire station (or ambulance hall for that matter) going. Depts don't get free utilities-they have to pay insurance- buy fuel-protect their members safety- maintain & replace equipment- maintain premises-buy fire prevention materials-and spend a large amount of time raising other funds. Envelope drives help, but its still not enough. Don't forget, every piece of paper, stamp, pencil or pen used at the fire station costs money. Nothing is free for emergency services. Charging for services rendered works in some place but not in others. You have to do billing and follow up but you may have to spend funds to collect outstanding debts-if someone still doesn't pay do you take it to court, enter judgments? Does a volunteer organization have the funds, personnel, & time to pursue this avenue? Not usually. New members don't coming knocking at the door very often either. People just don't have the time to dedicate. A good % of new members are children & family members of other firefighters. At a local fire station in Potter Co about 50% of members are family. Every person who joins a volunteer organization deserves our deepest gratitude. Potter County has some of the best emergency services personnel this country could provide. The family members in my house represent approximately 55 years of experience & dedication & it has made us better people for it.
We must urge Ed Mann state leaders to step up their support. We need to rally our politicians to help us serve our public. The lists above are missing at least one thing-answering the call when it comes. The above activities all have to happen BEFORE answering the call because without training-maintenance- fundraising- membership duties, answering the call can't happen. Please support your local volunteers!!! They may not be perfect, but they are definitely God's gift to protect us.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist. Although I believe this plan to bring our once great country down has been in the works for a long time.(agenda 21) It is all by design and working grandly.

Just look at all the cell phone zombies walking around all day with there heads buried. Easily controlled and manipulated while living in there own personal fantasy land. There is simply no time to volunteer for anything that takes them away from there own personal utopia.

Anonymous said...

Well, since there are no easy answers to the problem, I'm thinking of ways that our local Fire Dept can raise funds and memories from my childhood come to mind. How about sponsoring a town carnival ? Does that bring in profit or more trouble than it's worth ? You just don't see these much anymore. Would be nice to have something throughout the summer to look forward to (for the kids anyway).

Todd Peine said...

Any Fire Dept in McKean and Potter Counties that would like to Start a Exployer Post with 14 and older Youth, to try and interest Teens in Community Service Please contact peinet@verizon.net.

Anonymous said...

You could have slapped a 0.001% tax on all fuels pulled out of the ground in this region and that would have been plenty to provide PAID, CAREER emergency services.

Not to mention money for our schools, roads and bridges, DEVELOPMENT (oooo, scary progress)

It's what the public and the emergency responders deserve.

But try telling that to the screaming SOSHULISM squad.

The corporations have that lot trained well.

Well I suppose as long as Scarnati enjoyed his super bowl, and Corbett gets a nice lobbying job that's worth some burned down homes and preventable deaths.

Thank you Republicans!

Anonymous said...

2:36, there are easy answers

Just the people rolling in more money than anyone's had in all of history don't want you to know that there are easy answers.

Dwight D. Eisenhower told you what the hell was going on.

No one listened.
In fact, the Republican party was taken over by the very people Ike warned us about

and now we hear people demonizing social services as communism.

Talking about getting rid of public schools, all in the name of NO TAXES ON RICH PEOPLE EVER. Disgusting, shameful.

Wtf is wrong with you people?!?!

How is all of this not readily apparent?

How do you let millionaires on television convince you that it's all the fault of the poor guy on $200/week welfare?

You gobbled up that Reaganomics b.s. the coke-addled wall street bankers sold everyone on and it's been downhill since.

There is a reason there isn't enough to go around anymore and everyone works two or three jobs and it still isn't enough.

Your lack of volunteers isn't because people don't care anymore. I care, my neighbors all care, most everyone I meet in my town cares

... we are just too damned busy trying to pay our bills and scrape by on the $8/hr and $10/hr jobs left to our region.

(maybe we can get a jobs bill to get some of that work back from india and china?
lol. jobs bill... so funny. remember 2010?? good times. Thanks tea party.)

It isn't the poor people buying cigarettes and beer.

It's the ones that have worked very hard over last 30 years to funnel all the power and money into their own coffers,

and cousin, it sure as shit aint gonna "trickle down".

Anonymous said...

The lack of volunteers in the town were i live is because of the crooked deals made by the people in charge ! Not to mention robbing the place blind!

Anonymous said...

If we have no volunteer fire departments, do you realize what would happen? A county the size of Potter, would have about four paid departments. Can you imagine what would happen if you had a Fire/ambulance/resque call, in we'll say, Cross Fork? Your Fire insurance quadrupled. People die, lose property and suffer untold injuries. A lot of points in this comment section are true, everyone likes to complain, but I'll bet our Department doesn't have any application submitted at our next meeting. We pay over $40,0000 in insurance a year, we get Grant money we apply for each year, we receive money from municipalities each year that can only be used for certain things. Who pays the utilities,upkeep of buildings and property,feeding our Department and mutual aid depts for calls when we are out in the heat or cold for ten or twelve hours,training that can't be paid by other means? Unless you are part of a Volunteer Fire Department, you are on the outside looking in and it's easy to sit back and complain BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT TAKES TO INTERNALLY SUPPORT IT.

Anonymous said...

one more way for the wilds to become the wilds. People will have to move to the cities, to see Doctors and to get service such as fire departments, ambulance service etc. Close to stores cause it will cost to much to drive, on and on.

Anonymous said...

How about a $1-$2/month "tax" on our own gas/electric bills to offset the cost of heating/electrifying the fire halls? What is the average utility bill for these buildings that are most likely very aged w/o proper insulation and do not have an efficient heating system. That would allow ALL of us to contribute a little bit more to offset these costs. You already pay a small amount of tax devoted to fire protection, depending on your local millage, but this would be just a bit more that most certainly would be welcomed. OR, demand the PUC MAKE the utilities provide free gas and power to fire or ambulance halls. We would end up paying either way, but the $1-$2/month would go directly to the fire dept. entity via a check from the utility collecting agency.

Anonymous said...

Stop requiring so much training and certifications. You sir are the problem.

Anonymous said...

Regarding utilities_emergency services are entitled to residential rates for their facilities but i am willing to bet that the average Potter Co. fire station pays well over 1000 per month just to turn on the lights, heat the building, have phone and internet. I am also willing to bet that there arent any cash reserves just laying around in case of a major equipment failure at any of our area fire stations. they all have apparatus and if there is a failure it normally isnt something that an insurance claim can be filed for. Also, dont forget how much wear and tear a firefighters vehicle receives. We can all complain about blue lights and red lights but volunteers are only reimbursed 14 cents a mile...when the federally set business mileage rate is 56.5 cents. Offer a volunteer a way to submit a mileage claim on their state taxes. Fix the former legislation that allowed emergency services volunteers a state tax credit. It needed work but was better than nothing.